There is a new showcase in the Police Department lobby that pays tribute to Mesquite’s first lawman: Sheriff Deputy Oscar Abbott. Abbott, a police officer for 22 years, was assigned to the Mesquite substation by the then Las Vegas Police Department, and served 13 years as the area’s only lawman.
Covering northeast Clark County and parts of Arizona, Abbott was well known at both local and national levels for his uncanny ability to catch car thieves. Honored by Sheriff Ralph Lamb and FBI Chief Edgar Hoover, Abbott holds the distinction of being identified by the FBI as having retrieved more stolen cars during his career than any other peace officer in the nation. He attributed his success to Mesquite’s location but had said a majority of the retrievals came with no prior notice.
Originally sent to enforce “rough house” dances in Mesquite the locals came to know him and asked him to stay. His daughters served as Mesquite’s first dispatchers. When a call would come in for help, the girls would turn on an outdoor light that sat atop a tall pole that could be seen for miles around. This would alert Abbott that he needed to come home and collect the requests for help from Mesquite residents.
Sheriff Ralph Lamb has referred to Abbott as, “…an outstanding credit to Clark County law enforcement and to the town of Mesquite.” The showcase is a tribute from the men and women of the Mesquite Police Department to Sheriff Deputy Oscar Abbott and his family for their efforts to protect and serve the citizens of Mesquite.