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Arnold M. Knightly

Ex-Sheriff Young takes Station post

14 March 2007

and Arnold M. Knightly

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Since his retirement two months ago, former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young has skied more than he did in the past 20 years. He had time to golf, pick up his daughter from school, do the laundry and other day-to-day things that used to take a back seat to his job as the county's top cop.

Despite the newfound leisure time, the 51-year-old said he realized he was not ready to take up the retired life for good. On Tuesday he was named corporate vice president of security for Station Casinos Inc., following the well-worn path from local law enforcement to the gaming industry.

"At the end of the day, I felt this was the best place for Bill Young to be," he said Tuesday after the announcement.

Young was an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department for 24 years before being elected sheriff in 2002. Political insiders expected him to cruise to re-election last year, but he pulled out of the race in May, citing the demands the job placed on him and his family.

Young picked Undersheriff Doug Gillespie to succeed him, and Gillespie was elected in November with more than 60 percent of the vote. Young officially retired when Gillespie was sworn in on Jan. 2.

Shortly after his pullout, Young got a call from the Fertitta family, which owns Station Casinos and supported Young's run for sheriff.

Young said he also fielded job offers from other companies and agencies in Las Vegas and across the country. They included a professional sports team, a New York City security firm and cities looking for a police chief, he said.

"I nixed most of them right away," he said. "I'm a Las Vegas guy who's going to spend the rest of his life here."

Station Casinos' reputation as a good company to work for and his longtime association with the Fertitta family, which dates to his days at Bishop Gorman High School, cemented his decision, Young said.

He will oversee 630 workers and the security and surveillance operations for Station Casinos' 16 properties in Southern Nevada. Young would not reveal his new salary, but it was expected to top his annual salary of $134,263 he earned as sheriff.

Other former law enforcement officials, including retired Sheriff Jerry Keller, took corporate security jobs in the industry after retirement.

Young said he sought Keller's input.

He also talked to Grant Ashley, who led the FBI's Las Vegas office for several years and has been vice president in charge of security for Harrah's Entertainment since 2006.

Ashley said that one of the challenges facing Young in corporate security will be not having ownership of a problem from beginning to end.

"You don't own the problem in its entirety, you don't own all the solutions" Ashley said. "To me that was a very interesting transition, and I realized there is a point in time, whether by law or otherwise, responsibilities and accountabilities and authority to accomplish things begins and ends."

Ashley said that one of the benefits of coming from a public safety background in Las Vegas is that Young already knows the players and the environment.

But he will also have to realize when to "dial back" and let outside agencies take over.

Young said he probably will tap into his connections in the law enforcement community, especially when it comes to homeland security issues. He said he looks forward to dealing with a different kind of environment than the down-and-dirty world that police officers deal with.

"This is a little happier, brighter environment, and people are coming here to have a good time," he said.

Ex-Sheriff Young takes Station post is republished from