At a press conference yesterday, Sheriff Joe Lombardo, GOP candidate for Nevada Governor, received an endorsement from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. The Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA) is Nevada’s largest single police association representing over 3,000 commissioned police and corrections officers–the largest police association in the state.
This endorsement follows Lombardo’s endorsement from the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO) and the Nevada Law Enforcement Coalition (NLEC). NAPSO and NLEC represent law enforcement and public safety personnel from among 19 separate associations across Nevada.
LVPPA President, Detective Steven Grammas, admitted during the conference that he “took a butt whooping” by his membership after the organization endorsed Governor Steve Sisolak in 2016. Due to their feedback, the LVPPA decided to let their members vote on who to endorse this election cycle. An “overwhelming” majority of about 80% of the voting members chose to endorse Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Grammas explained.
Joe Lombardo responded that it was an “honor” and cited his additional endorsements from 15 sheriffs across the state and the endorsements from the law enforcement community and organizations “representing 95-99% of the entire law enforcement community across the entire state of Nevada.”
Lombardo added, “Law enforcement has been attacked in the last few years under Steve Sisolak’s tenure and oversight and under legislative oversight in the last two sessions. Flawed legislation has come out of the legislative body in the last two sessions that has been detrimental to the safety of the community and to the law enforcement profession and their ability to do their job. That will change with this endorsement today. We are concerned with what may happen in the next session and that is why we are here today.”
The Globe pressed Lombardo to expound on the changes made in the legislative body that endangered the community and law enforcement. Lombardo replied, “The statutes in AB 236 associated with sentencing and penalties related to narcotics trafficking, burglary, and larceny. The legislative body reduced felonies to misdemeanors and this has made it very difficult to make an arrest in that space. The legislature tied our hands in our ability to make an arrest in a violation of criminal law. In my opinion, it is very frustrating for us to respond to a call from a person in need and we can’t do anything about it or have an individual held responsible for the actions they conducted in a criminal space.”
The Globe asked for specific examples of felonies reduced to misdemeanors. Lombardo responded, “The threshold on larceny was raised from, I believe, $850 to $1200. You hear people opining about the threshold in CA of $950 and businesses are being put out of business as a result of that action. But here in Nevada, it’s even worse. People are very frustrated and looking for help, but the most we can do is issue a citation. We don’t have the ability to make an arrest in this space. And when crooks see this, and their communication network starts, crime rises.”
“The other one would be narcotics,” Lombardo added. “The trafficking level of narcotics has been raised significantly in that space. Level One narcotics has been raised from four grams to 28 grams and that is a significant amount that we, as professionals in the law enforcement community, are looking at from a whole new and different paradigm.”
When The Globe asked if he, as Governor, would tighten up those laws, Lombardo replied, “yes, and also push for repeal.”
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