Retired Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. Larry Burns who ran against Lombardo dies at 61 - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Retired Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. Larry Burns who ran against Lombardo dies at 61

LAS VEGAS — 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.

Capt. Larry Burns

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 have not yet been announced.

About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 40 years of experience. In 1986 Mr. Poppa was awarded “Criminal Investigator of the Year” by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. He was also re-assigned to the Northern Virginia Regional Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for 18 months. In 1991 and again in 1992 Mr. Poppa’s testimony under oath in court led to the discovery that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense by the prosecutor and sheriff’s office officials during the 1988 trial of a man accused of attempted murder of his wife that led to his conviction. As a result of his testimony the man was ordered released from prison, given a new trial in 1992 and found not guilty. Mr. Poppa became the subject of local and national news media attention as a result of his testimony which led to the demise of his 12-year police career. After losing his job, at the request of the FBI, Mr. Poppa infiltrated in an undercover capacity a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont Chemical fortune heir and his wife in 1992. His stories have been featured on Inside Edition, A Current Affair, and CBS News’ Street Stories with Ed Bradley. Contact the author.


  1. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P Larry. So sorry to the family for their loss.

  2. Doug Poppa
    Doug Poppa says:

    There is a GoFundMe account set up for Larry’s family if you want to donate.

  3. Doug Poppa
    Doug Poppa says:

    A GoFundMe account has been set up for Larry’s wife.

  4. Annonymous says:

    Larry Burns was a good man and a honest police officer.


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