On June 15, the Las Vegas City Council unanimously ratified Jason Potts as the city’s new Department of Public Safety director. Potts has 22 years of municipal policing experience and was selected for the director position by City Manager Jorge Cervantes.
Potts will lead the city’s Department of Public Safety, which provides the public with law enforcement and detention services. This department manages the city jail and includes the deputy city marshals (who provide public safety at city parks and facilities), as well as animal protection services.
Potts started his policing career with the Vallejo Police Department in Northern California, where he moved up the ranks to captain, leading the Operations Bureau, Investigations Bureau, and Emergency Services Unit. Before his career in municipal policing, he worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection as a border patrol agent.
During his career at the Vallejo Police Department, Potts worked in various capacities, including patrol, crime suppression, investigations, SWAT, field training, internal affairs, the FBI’s Solano County Violent Gang Task Force and the Oakland Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. He also is a military reserve special agent with the Coast Guard Investigative Service.
Potts earned a master’s degree in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine. He has a bachelor’s degree in Management from St. Mary’s College in California. He holds a certificate of completion from the Police Executive Research Forum, Senior Management Institute of Police. He is a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College, and is a National Institute of Justice Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Program alumni with the U.S. Department of Justice.
An advocate for evidence-based policing, Potts serves on the Executive Board for the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, is a member of the Council on Criminal Justice (violent crime working group), and is a National Policing Institute fellow. He has been a strong proponent of officer safety and wellness, data-driven patrol deployments, community engagement, practitioner-led research, innovative practices and technology. In June of 2019, he was recognized nationally at George Mason University for his collective efforts in advocating and implementing evidence-based policing — both nationally and in his department.