Anyone who’s ever been to downtown Las Vegas knows the place is a hellhole.
While the Las Vegas Strip is a glimmering jewel in the desert,
Vegas’ downtown area is a bleak, crime-infested war zone full of hookers, drug addicts and the homeless which literally smells like piss 24/7.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Las Vegas is a great place to live. People who just visit get the wrong idea of Vegas life. Las Vegas is not just the strip. It has many people who live full, productive and (dare I say) normal lives. They just do it in places like Henderson, Green Valley and east and west of the strip.
What’s interesting is none of these places are technically in Las Vegas. Nor is the strip. All of these places are outside the borders of Las Vegas’ city limits. I don’t personally know one single person who lives downtown. I guess I don’t know enough hookers, heroin addicts and winos. Or politicians.
Only the homeless and government workers travel down town and I’m not sure which group is a bigger blight. The downtown area is in no way representative of Las Vegas. The area consists of only a couple of blocks. This tiny area has been systematically destroyed for decades by the corrupt and incompetent mismanagement of politicians and beaurocrats.
Legitimate businesses have been fleeing the downtown area for years. Things are so bad the city government decided to do something. (of course since they’re Las Vegas politicians they did something ridiculously incompetent)
The plan was to set up a system where local business people and citizens could have a direct line to the police. Something speedy and effective that cut through the government red tape. A direct line to justice if you will.
And after putting a lot of thought into it the Las Vegas city government came up with the perfect plan. A direct way to bring the wrath of law enforcement down on would-be criminals:
Not Quite. But Las Vegas did come up with a phone-in hotline.
The plan was simple. If you were downtown and saw a crime or anything suspicious or potentially illegal going on just call the hotline. The call would be directly answered by a member of Metro (Las Vegas police).
* Witness a drug deal going down. Call the hotline.
* Some crackhead is breaking into your car and stealing the stereo for the 11th time. Call the hotline.
* Some homeless guy is urinating in the doorway of your downtown business and passes out with his pants around his ankles. Call the hotline.
What a great idea! Unfortunately the Las Vegas Review Journal has a story on the results of that plan. And it’s not pretty.
The program was debuted with great fanfare by the city. Citizens and downtown business owners finally had a number they could call to report drug and prostitution problems directly to an officer.
They even came up with a fancy name for this program. It was called the Direct Officer Assistance Phone.
That’s right “DOAP.” As in DOPE which turned out to be an uncannily accurate moniker.
The city spent lot of money and effort when they debuted the DOAP program. The main thing was to get the hotline number out to the public and downtown businessmen. And, in fairness, that part of the program worked great. People rang the hotline number off the hook. I mean you can barely take a step in downtown Las Vegas without seeing a crime or at least suspicious activity involving drugs or prostitution.
The phone rang…and rang…and rang. Unfortunately nobody ever answered the phone. Literally.
You see, when they set up the hotline, the city didn’t set up a number. No, they went out and bought an actual phone. One single phone. And that was the number they gave out to the public. And, unfortunately, someone had LOST THE PHONE.
Anytime the number for the DOAP hotline was called (hundreds of times) the phone simply rang and rang and rang. There wasn’t even an answering machine or recorded message on the other end. Exactly ZERO of the calls were getting through.
Some program. Why do you think they call it DOAP?
Well what would you expect from the only city in America where the mayor had his own booze endorsement contract?
The city says the problems have been fixed. The Review Journal quotes a spokesman as saying the DOAP hotline is a “priority.”
“We’re not going to give up on it,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep pumping at it.”