Las Vegas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association

Laurie Buchman


Laurie Buchman, from Detroit, earned a BA and MAT in education from Oakland University in Rochester, MI.  She retired from City of Oak Park Department of Recreation and West Bloomfield School District both located just north of Detroit. 

She was an elected West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commissioner from 1984-2002.  Laurie served on the City of Las Vegas Recreation Advisory Board for 8 years and has since moved her interest to the Las Vegas Senior Softball Association (LVSSA) Board of Directors.  She was the first woman President 2018 – 2020.

Laurie is manager and player on the Vegas Strong Woman’s 70s tournament team.  She was inducted into the LVSSA Hall Of Fame in 2018.

She is honored and humbled to serve our community as President of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association since July 2017.  Laurie has met many interesting Metro officers and employees while researching and authoring more than 50 articles featuring Metro in the MVP All Points Bulletin. 

Laurie also spends free time as a Metro Volunteer and on the shooting range.  With her husband Dave, she has lived in LV since 2002, sharing their home with a dog and cat. “We have wonderful friends and enjoy life here.”

Johanna Walter


Johanna Walter was born and raised in Southern California. For the last 16 years her career is in the Loss Prevention Safety and Hazmat field, working throughout California, Southern Nevada, and Northern Arizona. In late 2011, she moved to Las Vegas to continue her career. Since January of 2017, Johanna has given back to the community with more than 1100 hours of volunteer service. Through the Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada (TIP), she has assisted first responders including LVMPD and others in Clark County, spending time with survivors, victims, family members, witnesses, and other bystanders directly on-scene. “I was able to offer emotional and physical support, and provide information as needed. In addition to on scene volunteering, I dispatched for TIP, working closely with dispatchers for LVMPD, CC Fire, LV Fire, etc. While dispatching, I was the acting supervisor on duty for Southern Nevada.” She graduated the Citizens Police Academy in class 1-2018 and joined the CPAAA. Most recently, in January of 2019, she became a volunteer with LVMPD’s MVP program. “I am honored to be a board member with the CPAAA.”

Donna Klein


Donna was born in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  Upon graduating High School, she joined the US Air Force for a long fulfilling career.  After spending 22 years serving her country all over the world as a Munitions Maintenance/Logistics Director, she retired in 2000 as a Senior Master Sergeant.  Her retirement brought her to Las Vegas where she began her second career in healthcare. 

After working for Southwest Medical Associates, Healthcare Partners of Nevada, P3 HealthCare, and finally Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield as a Finance Director, Donna decided to wrap up her 20-year healthcare career and retire. 

Donna got involved with CPAAA upon graduating the CPA class in 2009 when Janet Delaney told her all about the exciting things the organization did to help Metro and our community.  Beginning as a Sales Associate to Janet Delaney as a Director At-Large, Donna went on to run the CPAAA Store once elected as a Board Director in February 2019.  She actively worked to widen the selection of logo items offered so our members can proudly display their support for our organization.  In 2019, Donna also volunteered to be the Chairperson to the CPAAA’s annual holiday party, which through auctions, raffles, and donations generates the highest amount of funds raised each year.

When not actively involved with CPAAA, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband Joey, her dog Stella, and her friends.  She loves to travel abroad exploring new places and also plans to expand her involvement with volunteering opportunities.

Gerrie Holmes


I have lived in Las Vegas nearly my whole life.  In my first career I was a Personnel Director (that’s what we called it back then) for a corporation that owned casinos. I worked at LVMPD from 1999 through 2015 and was also a volunteer at this time as Treasurer for the CPAAA since 2004. Since retiring, I volunteer at the LVMPD Academy on Cheyenne in addition to the CPAAA and am a docent at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.  I am married and have 3 sons, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grand daughters.  My husband, Larry and I enjoy traveling in our new motor home.

Sharon Harding

MVP Liaison

Sharon Harding grew up in Kansas then moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV. She graduated with a degree in Business Management.  She has worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for over 25 years.  She started as a Fingerprint ID Technician, then worked as an Evidence Custodian and in November 2002 she promoted to the Volunteer Coordinator.  Currently she is responsible for over 500 volunteers ranging in age from 20-90 years old.  In 2019 our volunteers donated over 181,000 hours helping our community and LVMPD.

Lt. Landon Reyes

Metro Liaison

I am Lt. Landon Michael Reyes, 41.  Born and raised in Redondo Beach, CA and moved to Las Vegas in 2001.  I worked in financial management and as a real estate loan officer until 2007.

I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and then joined LVMPD in 2008.

As a patrol officer I worked in DTAC, NEAC, and BAC and was assigned to an area command investigative unit for two years and then spent some time in the Internal Affairs Bureau. Then I became a Field Training Officer, I worked at NEAC, SEAC, and DTAC.

I was a member of LVMPD’s search and seizure committee, pursuit committee, and the UOF committee along with being a Firearms Instructor.

I promoted to SGT in 2017 where I worked patrol in BAC, SEAC, NWAC and was a Field Training SGT.  I was an IAB SGT for two years and also worked in the Office of the Sheriff as the ADMIN SGT for three years.

In 2023 I was promoted to Lieutenant assigned as the ADMIN LT for DTAC from January to August and recently transferred to LVMPD’s Organizational Development Bureau; specifically, the section that oversees AOST, RBT, MACTAC, EVOC, and the JETI.

My wife is on the department, we met in the academy in 2008.  She is a SGT assigned to LVMPD’s IAB section. My brother-in-law is also on the department currently as a field training officer at NWAC.

I have twin boys that are 11.

When I am off duty my hobbies include family time, surfing (since I was very young), playing the drums and restoring a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle.  Our family poodle is Potato.




Captain Kurt McKenzie

Metro Liaison

As Captain of the Organizational Development Bureau, Kurt McKenzie has twenty-two years of experience in Law Enforcement. Kurt began his career as a Patrol Officer and he has worked his way up to become a leader in community policing, civil unrest, police accountability and reform. He leads a vast bureau responsible for all training of new officers, annual training and in-service recertification.

Previously, Kurt served as Lieutenant over the Critical Incident Review Team (CIRT), responsible for the administrative investigation of all officer-involved shootings and police incidents resulting in significant injury or death. Kurt oversaw a team of detectives that made recommendations to change policies, procedures, and tactics as a result of these investigations. Additionally, he served as the tactical commander for the Homeland Security Saturation Team (HSST) as well as the back-up SWAT tactical commander. There he oversaw the training and implementation for mobile field force, dignitary protection and site protection for critical infrastructure while in command over high-risk incidents.

Throughout his career Kurt McKenzie has continued to develop the necessary skills for leadership, training, and teambuilding. Kurt continues to encourage and recruit African Americans to explore careers in law enforcement and is committed to developing future leaders in the agency.

Kurt received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New York College at Oswego. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, where he volunteers in internationally mandated programs which continue to contribute to community uplift and the empowerment of the black community. Kurt is also leading the charge on building bridges between the black communities and law enforcement in his work with the Las Vegas Black Police Association. His work with the Uplift Foundation providing scholarships, mentoring, outreach, and wellness has positively impacted the lives of youth and adults in Southern Nevada.

Kurt was born in Brooklyn, NY and has lived in Las Vegas since 2000. Kurt and his wife of twenty-one years, Connie, have two children: Xavier, a rising senior at Morehouse College (Atlanta) majoring in Communications and Zaria, a rising sophomore at Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte) majoring in Biology. Together, with their rescue dog, Curly, they enjoy puzzles, outdoor adventures to National Parks and traveling as often as possible.

Officer Sam Diaz

Metro Liaison

Sam Diaz received the “John W. Wrentmore” Memorial Award for Leadership.

LVMPD Officer / NLPOA, & Las Vegas Clark County Chapter member

Officer Sam Diaz from Bolden Area Command was recommended to the Air Force of Office of Special Investigations (OSI) by Sergeant John Harney.

Sam Diaz enlisted in the Air Force Reserves as a Technical Sergeant. Officer Diaz began the Criminal Investigators Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia in April 2014. He was class leader during the course as class superintendent. Officer Diaz received the Distinguished Expert Marksmanship score and the FLETC Director’s Leadership Award. Sam was voted this award by his class as the student who most exemplifies the highest standards and embodies the leadership characteristic of a federal law enforcement officer. The award is given to the student who exhibits the following behavior while in basic training; positively influences others; serves as a role model; is responsible to themselves and others; is a problem-solver; exemplifies excellence; does more than expected; cares about fellow classmates; puts others first and is team-oriented; inspires goodwill and enthusiasm; and is loyal, helpful, respectful, thoughtful, and ethical.

During the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Basic Special Investigators Course, Technical Sergeant Sam Diaz was a student detachment Special Agent in-Charge and was selected by his class for the John W. Wrentmore Memorial Award for Leadership. Sam Diaz graduated on September 11th, 2014 and became a Special Agent with OSI. He was proud to represent The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the National Latino Peace Officers Association during his training.

Monica Casillas


I have worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) for 15 years, where I have served in a variety of different sections such as Records, Downtown Area Command (DTAC), Body Worn Camera (BWC) Unit and most recently Systems Administration Unit (SAU). In 2007, I joined the first Hispanic Citizen’s Police Academy (HCPA) where I have assisted, supported the program, and seen over 900 students graduate. Many former students recently joined the CPAAA, I am proud and honored to be the new member of the Board of Directors for the CPAAA.  My goal is to serve as both a member and as part of the community the best way I can.

I am a breast cancer survivor, where I have been cancer-free since 2018. When I am not serving the community, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and friends I call my family here in Las Vegas. When I am not in Las Vegas, I travel often to Mexico, where my parents are retired and where I lived for 5 years of my life, which is why I understand the challenges of adapting to different environments, culture, and way of life.  I am grateful for the opportunities to serve the CPAAA and the community and to positively influence the future of the CPAAA.

Cookie Penton


Cookie Panno-Penton moved to Las Vegas from Chicago in 1979.  She started working at the Fremont Hotel/Casino in January 1980.  She is still there.

She has two children: Tara and Tommy plus two inherited boys from her marriage to Bob Penton. Together they have seven grandchildren and two doggies; Simon and Oliver.  They run the house.

Cookie became an MVP in 2001 which launched her into the Citizens’ Police Academy.  She has had been Vice-President and is presently a Director charged with booking guest speakers and posting our pictures, synopsis and announcements on the CPAAA Facebook page.  It’s turned into a big job with her thoughts of covering the day-to-day activities that CPAAA gets into and involved with.  In each of her 20 years she has always been an active and vital member of the CPAAA.

Janet Delaney

Recording Secretary

Janet’s life began in West Chester, PA in the loving Taliercio Italian family. She went to Cosmetology Academy after high school.

In 1957, Janet married Charles (Chuck) Delaney and they had four children. In 1969, his military assignment brought him and his family to Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, NV.

Since their children were getting older, Janet accepted a job at United Health Services as a Volunteer/Resource Coordinator. Involved in meetings, Janet and Sharon Harding met.

Thus, began Janet’s volunteering for Metro Volunteer Program and joining the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association accepting Board positions and various MVP assignments. A great deal of satisfaction, joy and values of being with people and staying active tend to let volunteers  live longer and healthier

Miriam Gutierrez


Miriam Gutierrez has been in Las Vegas for over twenty five years. This city, having introduced her to her husband and to the multitude of experiences of self-development, is a place she is deeply grateful to. Now 41 years old, with two daughters, one in UNLV currently and the other recently graduated, Miriam has been deeply involved in the education institutions and community systems that the valley offers.
Some years after arriving to Las Vegas, Miriam became a housewife, which gave her the opportunity to engage with the city in a unique way, through which she became familiar with organizations such as the Clark County School District, North Las Vegas Police Department, American Red Cross, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, Nevada Ballet Theater, LVMPD Foundation and the City of North Las Vegas.

After graduating from the HCPA course in 2020, her interactions with Officer Sam Diaz and Monica Casillas she felt encouraged to contribute to their efforts to engage with the diverse communities of Las Vegas. When not actively involved with the CPAAA or volunteering in our community Miriam really enjoys spending time with her family and friends and practicing her own hobbies with textile work, puzzles and more.

Dave Peightal


I grew up in North Dakota and enlisted in the Air Force, then I was transplanted by the Air Force in 1985 and have been a resident of Las Vegas ever since. I attended UNLV and received a degree in Business Management. I worked for the State of Nevada in the Compliance Enforcement Division early on in my career, then I was the General Manager of Bobcat of Las Vegas for over 10 years. I am currently the Director of Operations at DOLCRX a Functional Medicine Pharmacy (the only one with our credentials in the state) which specializes in chronic medical conditions that include blood pressure, diabetes, weight loss (to name a few) we manage patients the holistic way.

I have worked and volunteered with The Las Vegas Rescue Mission in the past, along with volunteering at the Las Vegas Blind Center. I like to be involved in my community and have a community for everyone to enjoy.

In my spare time love working with my hands and understanding the mechanics on how things work, in addition I enjoy home remodeling projects. I also enjoy trying new things, such as hang gliding, which was my last new experience. I graduated the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association in 2014 and have been a member ever since. I am honored

Jorge Soto

Member at Large

Born in Mexico City, Jorge attended part of elementary school in his country. He came to this country with his immigrant parents to start a new life and to seek “The American Dream” in 2004. Growing up with immigrant parents came with many challenges such as Language Barriers, Economic Struggles, and Housing.


In 2008 Jorge received refuge from his Church Eagles CFC, through this aid He was able to overcome many of the challenges, He soon thereafter learned English and went to school where he graduated from Las Vegas Highschool in 2019 with the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence, awarded to less than 5% of the graduation class. During high school, Jorge was involved in the P.A.L. Program (Partnership At Las Vegas Highschool) a nationally recognized Career and Technical Education Program where he assisted a Hispanic Leadership summit and was chosen as the President of SOL (Student Organization of Latinos). He later became a 3-year member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AJROTC) where he was appointed as a cadet First Lieutenant.


Upon Graduating High School Enrolled at Nevada state college where he is currently double majoring in Psychology and Business. He later ran and was elected to serve as Senator for N.S.S.A (Nevada State Student Alliance) where he represented students’ needs and was the voice for the sophomore class. Jorge Soto is currently a DACA recipient (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) this gave him the opportunity to work in the U.S. and the opportunity to seek higher education. In 2019 he received the Dream.US award a full-ride scholarship given to Dreamers who seek higher education and make a difference in their community.


Jorge got involved with CPAAA after graduating from HCPA in 2022 when his church told him to participate because of all of the involvement the organization did with the Metro and with the community. Beginning as only a Member Jorge is a Board Member At-Large where he is currently being trained to grow and understand the responsibilities of a Board Member.


Today Jorge is working at the Latin Chamber of Commerce where he helps his community in small business administration and I studying Business and Psychology where he plans to keep serving his community through his Church, LVMPD, and the LCC.

Verlan Mike Ward

Vice President

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