Las Vegas City Council Ratifies New Public Safety Leadership

News Release

David Riggleman | Director of Communications | 702.229.2207 


MEDIA CONTACT: JACE RADKE | 702.229.2205 | 702.249.3514 


Las Vegas City Council Ratifies New Public Safety Leadership

New Chiefs Approved For Fire And Public Safety Departments


     At today’s meeting, the Las Vegas City Council unanimously ratified the selections of new Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Chief Jeff Buchanan and Department of Public Safety Chief Louis Molina. Both were selected for their positions by City Manager Jorge Cervantes following a recruitment process.


     Buchanan has been the senior deputy fire chief since he joined the department in February, and for the past four months has been in a dual role as acting fire chief. Prior to his arrival at the city of Las Vegas, Buchanan was a deputy fire chief for the Clark County Fire Department. Before joining Clark County, Buchanan was with the city of North Las Vegas for 13 years. He served in the positions of firefighter, paramedic, SWAT medic, EMS captain, training captain, fire captain, assistant fire chief and acting fire chief. In 2013, Buchanan was appointed fire chief for North Las Vegas, and later accepted a dual role and was named the interim city manager.


     Buchanan is an adjunct instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the College of Southern Nevada, where he has taught for nine years. He has taught and built curriculum for the National Fire Academy in its leadership programs, and holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration degrees. He currently is pursuing a Doctorate in Public Policy from UNLV, expecting to graduate in May of 2021. Buchanan is the first vice president for the Nevada Fire Chiefs Association and chair of the governor-appointed Board of Fire Services for the State of Nevada.


     Louis Molina is a second-generation, decorated veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement. He 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 control services.


     Molina most recently served as the first deputy commissioner for the Westchester County, New York Department of Corrections. Having worked in policing, a district attorney’s office and corrections, Molina has operationalized sustainable criminal justice reform practices, leading to major improvement of operations, investment in staff and enhancement of public safety. He has also built strong partnerships with faith-based and community leaders, and nonprofit organizations working with the justice-involved population.  


     Molina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Chaminade University, a Master of Public Administration from Marist College School of Management, a Master of Arts degree in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and studied abroad at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He was a U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice Scholar and most recently received a scholarship from the Harvard Business School Fund for Leadership & Innovation. Molina also has completed the Harvard Business School General Management Program.