Former Las Vegas Strip Commander Takes the Spotlight as Maui’s Top Cop

Posted on: August 16, 2023, 02:29h. 

Last updated on: August 16, 2023, 02:29h.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier is making headlines in the sports betting world after his role in dealing with a deadly wildfire on the Hawaiian island. Interestingly, Pelletier has a history with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), which is familiar to Las Vegas residents.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier, pictured above at a press conference. He formerly was a police captain in Las Vegas. (Image: Sky News)

Pelletier, who rose to the rank of captain during his 22-year career with the LVMPD, gained recognition as the commander in charge of the Las Vegas Strip district. He played a crucial role in responding to the mass shooting incident on October 1, 1997, which resulted in the deaths of 58 people and injured hundreds more.

Now, his experience in dealing with emergencies and high-pressure situations has prepared him for the immense challenges he faces as the police chief in Maui, where a deadly fire has claimed the lives of 106 people, making it the deadliest fire in the U.S. in over a century.

Since the wildfire, Pelletier has been prominent in televised press conferences, providing updates on the police response to the tragedy. He stands alongside notable figures such as Hawaii Governor John Green and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen.

During these press conferences, Pelletier has emphasized the importance of “patience, prayers, and perseverance” for the local community, according to the Associated Press.

This is not the first time Pelletier has spoken such words of encouragement in the face of adversity. Following the mass shooting incident on the Las Vegas Strip, he delivered a similar message as it became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Proud of Vegas Experience

When Pelletier was appointed as Maui’s police chief in 2021, he expressed pride in the LVMPD’s response to the mass shooting.

“We took the biggest crime scene, second only to 9/11, and we did everything to mitigate that,” he recalled during the selection process for his role in Maui, as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

“We brought a community together. We did something really, really great,” Pelletier added.

Both the tragic incidents in Las Vegas and Maui have had a profound emotional impact on both law enforcement officers and the wider community.

Puts Incident in Perspective

However, Pelletier is determined to highlight the gravity of the situation following such tragedies. Families and friends have lost loved ones, and neighborhoods are grappling with the aftermath.

“It’s not just ash on your clothing when you take it off. It’s our loved ones,” stated Pelletier recently.

The process of finding bodies, identifying victims, and informing families currently underway in Maui mirrors the one carried out after the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Pelletier has stressed the importance of accuracy and proper procedures during his press conferences.

“When we find these – you know, our family and our friends – the remains we’re finding is through a fire that melted metal. We have to do rapid DNA to identify them,” quoted Pelletier by USA Today.

Furthermore, both Las Vegas and Maui are renowned tourist hotspots, and Pelletier’s experience in dealing with diverse visitors in Clark County proves helpful in his role in Hawaii.

Pelletier, born in Buffalo, N.Y., comes from a family with a tradition of police service. He holds a degree in political science from UNLV and has attended the FBI Academy.

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