Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, the head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, has been a common fixture in national media recently. Lombardo has the unfortunate task of delivering the tragic updates of the Vegas concert shooting, in which at least 59 people were killed and another 527 injured when a man opened fire from a 32nd-floor hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip.
Lombardo is a law enforcement veteran, working his way through the ranks in Vegas until he was elected as its sheriff in 2014. He just recently announced his intention to run for another term in 2018.
Here’s what you need to know about Lombardo:
1. Lombardo’s Father Is an Air Force Veteran & He Was Born in Japan
Lombardo’s father is a U.S. Air Force veteran, meaning his family traveled a lot when he was a child. He was born on November 8, 1962 in Japan and stayed there until his father was brought back to the U.S. The family lived in the Asian country for over a decade before they eventually moved to Las Vegas in 1976.
2. Lombardo Graduated From UNLV & Is a Member of the Military
Lombardo grew up in Vegas and graduated from Rancho High School. After graduating high school, he attended UNLV and earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in crisis management from the school in 2006.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Lombardo studied at the F.B.I. National Academy and completed the 227th session. Upon making it through the academy, he served in the National Guard and in the Army Reserve. He’s been with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 28 years.
Lombardo started as a Las Vegas police officer in 1988 and was promoted to sergeant in 1996 and then lieutenant in 2001. Lombardo became the assistant sheriff in 2011. In 2013, he graduated from the Major Cities Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Development Program and started to eye up his future as the head of the Vegas police department.
3. Lombardo is a Republican & Was Elected to Office in 2014
Lombardo, a Republican, served as an assistant sheriff in Clark County and ran for the sheriff job in 2014 when Doug Gillespie announced he wouldn’t be running for a third term. Nine candidates lined up to run, but Lombardo was the one who separated himself from the pack. He was victorious in a June 2014 Republican primary and emerged as the favorite to win the general election against retired Capt. Larry Burns.
Lombardo raised $1.7 million to fund his campaign, but Burns was endorsed by a majority of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association and many of the union’s rank-and-file officers. Lombardo’s supporters included Gillespie and other prominent law enforcement officials.
The general election was extremely close, with Lombardo defeating Burns by just two percentage points (51-49). He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after being elected with such a narrow result: “I’m missing all my nails.”
In July this year, Lombardo announced his intention to seek re-election in 2018.
“Metro is the finest police organization in America, I truly believe that, and we’ve gotten even better over these past three years,” Lombardo said in a statement. “We put more police on the streets, equipped with the latest technology, and combined that with a unique focus on community policing.”
4. Lombardo Has Been Married Twice & Has a Daughter
According to a profile by the Las Vegas Sun, Lombardo has been divorced once and had a fiancee when he was running for sheriff in 2014. It’s unclear if or when he got married to the fiancee. He has a 19-year-old daughter and had a dog named Jasper.
In addition to serving law enforcement for so long, Lombardo also served on the Goodwill of Southern Nevada’s Board of Directors. His campaign website said he’s a “policy wonk” and loved to read from publications by the Police Executive Research Forum and the International Chiefs of Police.
5. Lombardo Makes Just Over $161,000 Annually
Lombardo has become known for his calm demeanor during press conferences and straight-laced talking. He’s rarely an outspoken person. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he currently makes a $161,000 salary.
According to his bio on the Vegas Metro Police Department webpage, Lombardo was a board member for the LVMPD Foundation from 2007-2014 and currently serves as a board member on three nonprofit organizations: the Nevada Child Seekers, Make-A-Wish Foundation and After-School-All-Stars.