Louis Molina, Former WCDOC 1st Deputy Commissioner Is The New Las Vegas Public Safety Chief

By now most may have heard the Westchester County Department of Corrections 1st Deputy Commissioner Louis Molina has left the WCDOC. He is now the new Las Vegas Public Safety Chief, according LasVegasNevada.com.

A new Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Chief, Jeff Buchanan, and Department of Public Safety Chief, Louis Molina, have been approved by the Las Vegas City Council.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue provides all fire suppression, prevention and education programs in the city as well as paramedic emergency medical services to the residents and visitors of the Las Vegas community. The department also has a Bomb Squad, Hazardous Materials Team and Technical Rescue Team that provides services for the city and the rest of Clark County.

The Department of Public Safety 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.


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. He will begin his new position immediately.  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 Department of Corrections (WCDOC).  He will start in his new position at the city Jan. 11, 2021. 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.

“My wife and I are excited about joining the City of Las Vegas family,” Mr. Molina shared with Black Westchester. “I have dedicated my professional career to Law Enforcement and have been fortunate to be given an opportunity to lead an amazing Department. I look forward to sharing the best practices I have been a part of, and continuing to build on the many successes already in place at the Department of Public Safety.”

Black Westchester congratulates Louis Molina in his new endeavor, he will be greatly missed in Westchester County.