Police Groups Backing Sheriff Lombardo for Nevada Call on Anti-Gun Group to Pull Anti-Cop Ads

(Chase Stevens /Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Pool)

On Friday, two law enforcement groups, the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, called on the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety to pull down their political ads.


Ads targeting Nevada’s Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Sheriff Joe Lombardo have been criticized by law enforcement groups for their anti-police rhetoric and misinformation that risk public safety.

These statements come on the heels of a police officer who was fatally shot while on duty Thursday in Las Vegas. Officer Truong Thai, 49, was fatally shot in the chest while responding to a domestic disturbance call. He had been with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department since 1999. The suspect was arrested and had a prior gun charge and is accused of firing 18 rounds. Last month, another LVMPD officer was non-fatally shot while on duty. 

One of Everytown’s ads tells the public that Lombardo has disbanded the domestic violence unit.

In a statement, Officer John Abel, Director of Governmental Affairs at the Las Vegas Police Protective Association said,

“The ad accuses Sheriff Lombardo of removing resources for domestic violence victims. That is blatantly false. It deeply concerns me that a current victim of domestic violence could see that and mistakenly believe that there is no way to get help through LVMPD.”

The reorganization of the domestic violence unit has been considered a success at LVMPD, increasing timeliness and follow-up while giving more resources to officers at area commands. The gang unit was never disbanded but decentralized so gang intelligence could share intel with patrol units and all substations shared the responsibility for dealing with gang-related activities. In 2017, with a rise in violent crime attributed to California’s gangs in the Las Vegas area, Sheriff Lombardo reconstituted the gang unit to focus on the core issue of violent crime.


As Sheriff, Joe Lombardo supported Marcy’s Law, a constitutional amendment twice passed in the legislature and approved by Nevada voters in 2018. The amendment guarantees rights to victims of violent crime. Lombardo is specifically listed on the Marcy’s Law website as an advocate. 

LVMPD is a massive police agency, the 7th largest in the nation. Their website lists 45 departments. The agency focuses on community policing, with over a dozen programs and partnerships. Transparency is another theme of law enforcement in Clark County, mandatory press conferences are held to address the press and public within 3 days of any officer-involved shooting.

In 2020, under Sheriff Lombardo, the department overhauled its use of force policies, with input from the ACLU, NAACP, academic studies, and assessments from other police departments. De-escalation and Duty to Intervene (stopping any officer from using inappropriate force) were given elevated importance, and additional guidance was included to address breathing issues; assigning an officer to monitor breathing and implementing breathing recovery positions. 

Last year, homicides increased in at least nine major cities. Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said police departments across the nation solve an average of 64% of homicides. As of Jan. 1, 2022, the Las Vegas police solvability rate for 2021 homicides was 91%.


I love that about LVMPD. I know they are gonna’ catch whoever did it, and the community sees it happen in real-time. When a local journalist, Jeff German, was found murdered in September, LVMPD arrested a sitting public official and an incumbent Governor Sisolak (D) appointee, Robert Telles (D) in mere days. During LVMPD’s announcement, Captain of the Homicide Bureau Dori Koren said, 

“We are very fortunate in Las Vegas. We have the best homicide unit in the country with the highest solvability rate in the country. They worked tirelessly, as the Sheriff pointed out, to succeed in this case.”

When a convicted pipe-bomb murderer escaped prison, under another Sisolak appointee’s oversight at the Nevada Department of Corrections, nobody was alerted for four days. Even with a four-day head start, LVMPD with the help of the community (a theme here) located and captured the escaped inmate right before he attempted to flee on a bus to Mexico. 

Community members frequently get to celebrate these successes. We are rooting for our law enforcement officers. Las Vegas is a gambling town but when crime does happen, we bet on our police department– with good odds, too.


But, when we lose an officer in the line of duty, we also mourn together.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

Another ad funded by Everytown blames Joe Lombardo for increases in crime. Steve Grammas, President of The Las Vegas Police Protective Association called for the ads to be removed saying,

“When Everytown attacks Sheriff Lombardo like this, they are attacking all of law enforcement. These attacks are inaccurate and misleading, but worst of all – they try to blame law enforcement for crime. Steve Sisolak is to blame for Nevada’s soft-on-crime policies that enable criminals and handcuff police.”

Two of the individuals seen in Everytown’s ads are also used in an abortion ad by A Stronger Nevada PAC. It appears the video shots used in the ads for both PACs were filmed on the same day and in the same locations.

There are other disingenuous claims in these ads. LVMPD did not lay off any police officers due to the revenue losses in the state, implemented by Governor Sisolak’s decrees. They cut some part-time civilian employees, who have all since been re-hired.

The PACs running these ads seem out of touch with Nevadans and specifically the residents of Clark County. We are mourning an officer’s death. We are celebrating the swift capture of murderers, with solvability rates that make us proud of our law enforcement community. We don’t appreciate attacks on LVMPD because not only are they a respected agency but in the summer of 2020 when “Defund the Police” and other protestors took to the streets of our community, one protestor shot Officer Shay Mikalonis, then 29-years old, near-fatally, in his head. This happened at a time when use-of-force policies had already been overhauled with input from the NAACP, ACLU, and others, remember? Nobody had to protest for LVMPD to take initiative in reviewing best practices and setting the standards for other police agencies in the nation to follow suit. But due to anti-police movements not originating from the Las Vegas area, our community has an officer whose life was forever altered and is still in recovery, years later.


Not only are police groups like the Las Vegas Police Protective Association and Public Safety Alliance of Nevada calling to end the ads using misinformation and anti-police rhetoric, but the wider community sentiment is also concerned for our officers when they are maligned. Their jobs are not easy. The risks they take daily are real. Using our law enforcement officers as political pawns to shift public sentiment against them is not only wrong, it’s dangerous. And, our police officers don’t get harmed in the line of duty in theory, but in real life, on Thursday was our most recent line-of-duty loss. Las Vegas area residents do not appreciate rhetoric that endangers lives and public safety.

Joe Lombardo is endorsed by the Public Safety Alliance of Nevada, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, the Las Vegas Peace Officers Association, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association Civilian Employee, Inc, Nevada Law Enforcement Coalition, National Association of Police Organizations, CorrectionsUSA, the National Latino Peace Officers Association, 16 of 17 Nevada Sheriffs and other law enforcement groups. 


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