Mesquite, having been recently named the ‘Safest City in Nevada’ certainly isn’t without its share of violent crime as evidenced by a recent police standoff. North Las Vegas S.W.A.T. members along with Mesquite Fire and Rescue Workers and Mesquite Police exit the house of an active shooter after safely taking the suspect into custody. Residents credit the men in blue from all departments for keeping them safe from the shooter. Photo by Dena Hoff

Mesquite, having been recently named the “Safest City in Nevada” certainly isn’t without its share of violent crime as evidenced by the two police standoffs that recently took place in this tiny little town. So what is it that makes Mesquite so safe?

Many residents will tell you it’s because of the expert way these types of crimes are handled by their Mesquite Police and Mesquite Fire and Rescue teams.

“I don’t believe we can call it anything but a success,” said local resident Denise Houston. “All officers returned home to their families and no one in the surrounding area was harmed during the active shooter situation.  A team effort by our men in blue should be commended.”

Houston’s statement is largely true but the men in blue can’t take all the credit. Some of it goes to other community members, such as community members that own, manage and work at the Rising Star Sports Ranch.

It was a hot sweltering night; a neighbor has a mental breakdown and threatens other neighbors and the police. Residents were evacuated from their homes while the Police and Fire Departments barricaded the area to ensure the safety of everyone, including the suspect; but where is everyone to go?

How long the situation is going to last is anyone’s guess; everyone’s hopes are that it won’t be for long.

Gail Barnum has two dogs, Labs, that are rather large dogs and thought maybe she’d take them to the park; her first thoughts were that it would only be for a couple of hours but it was so hot. She knew the Best Western would take the dogs, she’d been there before but on her way out of the neighborhood, she ran into another neighbor. Barnum’s neighbor was going to the Rising Star, she’d called and they had rooms available but didn’t know if they’d take the dogs. Barnum decided to give it a shot. Why not, she had nothing else to do and plenty of time to check out her options.

Barnum went to the Rising Star and when she got there was welcomed with open arms and so were her dogs… and, there was no charge for the room.

When Barnum, her furbabies and neighbors checked in, the staff told them, “It’s a community issue, we’re just happy that we’ve got the room and can help.”

Some neighborhood residents were able to gain help from family and friends such as Houston who was picked up by her mother Dena Hoff the night of the incident.

Barnum, Houston and Hoff are all grateful for the work of the Mesquite Police, Mesquite Fire and Rescue, Mesquite SWAT and the North Las Vegas SWAT members that lend their services to the situation that lasted for 12 hours.

They all agree that the professionals were outstanding in their efforts to control the situation and community businesses like the Rising Star along with community members like friends and parents are what kept people from ending up victims of either the crime or elements.  They also agree that whatever it is that makes Mesquite the Safest City in Nevada is truly a community effort.