Retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Larry Burns who ran unsuccessfully against Joe Lombardo in the 2014 race for Clark County Nevada sheriff, passed away from natural causes on Thursday. Burns was a giant among men in more ways than one and was highly revered by members of the department.
A 27-year police veteran and the longest assigned SWAT commander in the history of the LVMPD, holding that title from 2002 through 2009. While assigned as captain of the city’s Bolden Area Command, the inner-city of Las Vegas, he was lauded as being responsible for the reduction of violent crime in that area by building trust with the community. That accomplishment won him a departmental commendation.
Burns retired in 2013 and ran against then Assistant Sherriff Joe Lombardo for sheriff in 2014.
Burns was so highly respected as a commander that the majority of rank-and-file Metro officers supported his campaign for sheriff and he was endorsed by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, the union that represents police and corrections officers.
Lombardo had the support of former sheriffs Doug Gillespie and Bill Young. The race was tightly contested with Lombardo winning 51-49 percent.
One retired LVMPD detective told the Baltimore Post-Examiner that Burns was the kind of cop that had the integrity that Frank Serpico would have admired.
Another retired Metro officer said that he believes if Burns had been sheriff, the October 1 Las Vegas Massacre would have turned out much different, if at all. He said one of Burns’ favorite quotes was, “If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.”
Burns is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Annie Burns, and their seven children, one of whom passed away before Burns.
Funeral services will be held at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave., on Thursday, July 18th, 2019, at 10am.