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Metro Police veteran Joe Lombardo jumps into race for sheriff

Updated Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 | 4:04 p.m.

Metro Police Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo today added his name to the list of candidates campaigning to replace Sheriff Doug Gillespie, who is not seeking a third term.

Lombardo, 51, is one of at least six people vying for the sheriff’s job. The election is in November.

There were rumors last month that Lombardo would run for sheriff, after a Facebook page announcing his candidacy appeared and then quickly disappeared. Lombardo, however, said then that he was in the exploratory stages of considering a run for sheriff.

Now, with endorsements from both former Sheriff Bill Young and Gillespie, Lombardo is making his bid official.

“After giving it a great deal of thought, and with all humility, I arrived at the conclusion that my combination of experience and education make me the best choice to be our next sheriff,” Lombardo said in a statement.

Lombardo, a 1980 graduate of Rancho High School, joined Metro in September 1988 and steadily rose through the ranks before becoming assistant sheriff in October 2011. As assistant sheriff, he oversees the law enforcement services group, which includes the technical services division, professional standards division, information technology bureau and radio systems bureau.

Lombardo said he wanted to be sure he was up for the around-the-clock demands that come with the elected position, so he took his time mulling over the decision.

“I wanted to talk to people inside and outside the department,” he said. “Obviously, I had to talk to my friends and family to make sure I have the support network in place.”

Lombardo has a fianceé and a 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

As the department grapples with its budget deficit, Lombardo said that means Metro will have to continue doing more with less. As such, one change he would like to implement is moving investigative units from police headquarters to neighborhood substations.

“I believe our detectives will have to become less specialized and more generalized,” he said.

Lombardo, who has a master’s degree in crisis and emergency management from UNLV, has served as commander for divisions such as homeland security, search-and-rescue, patrol and professional standards, among others. He is a veteran, having served in the Army and National Guard from 1980 to 1986.

Lombardo said he plans to remain assistant sheriff while fundraising and campaigning during his off time.

“That enables me to stay current on the issues associated with the public (safety) and, if elected, hit the ground running,” he said.

The other candidates for sheriff are:

Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who resigned from the police force in July in protest of Gillespie’s decision not to fire an officer who had been recommended for termination by the department’s Use of Force Review Board, which Moody chaired.

Robert “Bobby G” Gronauer, a former Las Vegas Township constable who retired from Metro as a sergeant in 1999 after a 24-year career.

Metro Capt. Larry Burns of the Bolden Area Command.

Angel Barboza, a District Court marshal who once served a stint as police chief in Wendover, Utah.

Metro Detective Gordon Martines, who has 39 years of law enforcement experience.

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