Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo is the favorite to take the place of outgoing Sheriff Douglas Gillespie to keep the same regime, the same policy, and, in reality, the same of everything; there would not be much of a change from the present administration except moving Lombardo from a mid-size office to a bigger office, now occupied by his handler. There would be no hope that discrimination against the Spanish-owned Las Vegas Tribune would stop and the newspaper would once again be accepted as part of the media in Clark County — as it was before the present administration under Gillespie took over — and all because the newspaper did not endorse or support any of Gillespie’s campaigns. Lombardo has raised more than a million dollars on the Strip alone and is still begging for contributions of any kind and any amount; it makes others wonder why he keeps begging like a homeless person. On July 10 he is having another fund-raising, but only for the privileged — perhaps with the same members of the Million Dollar Club at a famous Italian restaurant that at one time welcomed the same people that Gillespie, Lombardo and their crew supposedly were chasing. Lombardo’s arrogance is that obvious; eating at that Italian restaurant takes a month’s salary from a normal, average individual that works for a living, the kind of individual that Lombardo does not need or want to deal with. The average citizen is not going to receive the same service or protection from Lombardo’s regime as those wealthy casino owner-operators who have filled his pockets with money. Metro’s protégée and the daily paper’s reporter, Mike Blasky, wrote on May 25 of this year, “He (Lombardo) has been an officer with Metro for 25 years, the last three as an assistant sheriff. He commanded several divisions at Metro, including Homeland Security, search and rescue and patrol.” Big deal! Every other candidate running in that race before the June 10 primary election has the same or more time at Metro and has fulfilled some of the same assignments as Lombardo. On June 10 of this year Lombardo told his protégée at the daily paper, Mike Blasky, “I’m still working at Metro. I’m still meeting those (officers) on a daily basis. … It’s very hard for somebody to show up day one and take the reigns of that office.” He is still in Metro because it is convenient for him and maybe his boss suggested to him that there is no need to leave if the office is his. Who told Lombardo that his opponent Captain Larry Burns does not meet those officers on a daily basis? How hard does he think it would be for Larry Burns to take the reigns of that office? Not that hard; Burns has had the same office experience and has the intelligence of coming in with the right team to take over Metro and convert the department into a real police department serving the community as a whole. Burns is a street cop; when was the last time Lombardo responded to a call? Even as a supervisor or out of curiosity, Lombardo has not been on the streets for a long time — unless he was crossing from one casino to another — and as he has said, “Crime is constantly changing.” The only scary thing about Larry Burns is the cozy relationship with the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (a.k.a. LVPPA) leadership, the police union that represents the rank and file that supports Burns and sees him as one of them. However, most voters will overlook Burns’ close relationship with the union before they overlook Lombardo’s relationship with the casinos because they feel more secure with Burns. County residents that have talked to Las Vegas Tribune believe that Burns would be better able to control the union demands than Lombardo could ever control the casinos, since he is controlled by the gaming industry. Lombardo’s lack of contact with the community is a concern for too many residents who don’t know anything about him on a one-to-one basis except what his “mouthpiece” at the daily paper writes. The bottom line is that if the rank and file of Metro feels more secure, more protected and better backed with Larry Burns, the community should also feel the same way when the morale and the integrity of Metro under Burns returns the community to a higher level of security and peace of mind.
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