Joe Lombardo, Nevada GOP nominee for governor, touted FBI programs before turning on Bureau Agents
Joe Lombardo, the Donald J. Trump endorsed Republican Gubernatorial nominee from Nevada, was recently questioned by Las Vegas voter Dana Gentry as to his thoughts on law enforcement, specifically sustained GOP criticism of those who carry a badge.
In response, Lombardo honed in on a group of federal agents recently in the news for carrying out their official duties, stating “Let’s talk about the FBI having no business searching Mar-a-Lago.”
While Gentry tweeted about the exchange on August 25, 2022, almost six years prior, a grant application sent by Lombardo to the Department of Homeland Security, revealed the current Sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had a more laudatory view of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at that time. The 39-page document also revealed an existing relationship and close collaboration between Lombardo’s Clark County policing agency and the FBI, one which continues to this day.
Additionally, the $500,000 funding proposal spelled out certain counterterrorism efforts employed by Lombardo’s LVMPD, in conjunction with the FBI and DHS, along with a general outline of how the half million dollars would be spent by his department.
Page 31 showed that LVMPD’s Office of Community Engagement housed Fusion Liason Officers, who operated as conduits between the county, state, and federal officials as part of the maligned DHS Fusion Center domestic surveillance apparatus.
“Prevention efforts have been assigned to officers with the Fusion Liaison Officer program, now residing within the Office of Community Engagement,” the entry read.
The same page also shows that Lombardo okayed the assignment of his Sheriff’s Department employees to an FBI-led program explaining,
“Interdiction, enforcement, and intelligence-gathering activities have been assigned to counter-terrorism units within the LVMPD and detectives assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
The packet, titled “FY 2016 Countering Violent Extremism Grants” began with a general explanation of how the award would be disbursed including this passage:
“By pursuing Focus Area 3: Managing Intervention Activities, the LVMPD will guide the formal development of a community-based intervention coalition and support community-based, non-law-enforcement intervention programs for referred individuals.
The LVMPD will utilize the funding to focus on the following major goals:
Provide subject matter expertise to establish and enhance a culturally-competent multidisciplinary non-law-enforcement intervention team. Establish case management and coordination to assist in service identification, repository, and/or delivery. Provide technical assistance in the development or validation of assessment tools.”
Deeper in the document, and in further contrast with his current stance on the work of the FBI, Lombardo explains his interest in using the methods gleaned from federal departments in order to carry out “Operation Vigilance,” an undertaking defined on the last page of application as being, “adapted from federal programming.”
In addition to this request to the Department of Homeland Security, other records also show the extensive ties and long history of cooperation between the FBI and LVMPD during Lombardo’s two terms as Sheriff, most notably during the largest mass shooting in US history.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the LVMPD refused to speak on the record about these programs.
Read the entire grant packet here: EMW-2016-CA-APP-00102