Like most Nevadans, I was shocked and saddened by the tragic events of October 1, when a senseless shooting took the lives of 58 innocent people and wounded hundreds more. In the aftermath of this horrific event, I believe Sheriff Joe Lombardo did a great job representing law enforcement and the Las Vegas community in general.
The sheriff grew up in Las Vegas, graduated from Rancho High School and UNLV, and joined Metro as a police officer in 1988. For nearly 30 years, he has worked tirelessly to protect our local citizens, and in 2014 the community recognized his achievements by electing him sheriff.
It’s a big job, and one he has handled with professionalism and integrity. Managing a combined sheriff’s and police department that employs about 3,500 police and corrections officers, he has weathered many high-profile cases and controversies over the years. In every one he has acted honorably, standing up for the law and doing what’s best for the community. The executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association recently called him “a lawman’s lawman.”
When the October 1 shooting occurred, Metro officers’ preparation and training clearly aided in their response time. Observing the sheriff at press conferences afterwards, it was easy to see that he was personally affected by this tragedy, and he became emotional when discussing a wounded Metro officer. But despite acting on little sleep and under enormous pressure, he handled media questions with a calm, matter-of-fact manner that helped reassure people that law enforcement had the situation under control.
Since then, the sheriff was worked tirelessly with other agencies and community partners to investigate the gunman’s background, make sure no further threats were forthcoming, and help put survivors and the Las Vegas community on the path to recovery.
I’m proud that we have a man like Joe Lombardo as our sheriff, and I’d like to publicly thank him for his dedication and his years of service.