A challenger for Clark County’s top police job said he is running to bring transparency and accountability after the Oct. 1 shooting.
Tim Bedwell, a retired North Las Vegas police lieutenant, praised the Metropolitan Police Department’s response the night of the shooting but criticized the information flow in the weeks since. The department’s transparency before and after the shooting influenced his decision to run for Clark County sheriff, he said.
“I also see a lot of people asking questions about Metro that they don’t seem to be able to get the answers to,” Bedwell told reporters at a Tuesday press conference announcing his candidacy.
He argued the public needed a better explanation of why some investigation details should remain under wraps.
“However, you can’t withhold it forever, and you need to be in front of the problem continually,” Bedwell said.
Bedwell, who flirted with running for sheriff in 2013, is Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s first opponent since he announced in July that he would seek re-election.
Citing Metro’s record 171 homicides last year, Bedwell said he would work with the public to tackle violent crime. He touted community policing as a way to improve relationships with the public and combat anti-police sentiments.
“I don’t think we can police our way out of a problem like this,” Bedwell said. “I don’t think you can add enough cops to fix this.”
As sheriff, Bedwell said he would emphasize de-escalation in the use of police force, adding he wouldn’t teach a chokehold criticized after the police custody death of Tashii Brown. Metro categorized the laternal vascular neck restraint as an intermediate-to-deadly use of force in September.
He also proposed opening a police substation on the Strip where officers would work beats as they would in neighborhoods.
Bedwell joined the North Las Vegas Police Department in 2001 and retired last year after working various roles in administration, public information, field training and patrol. Before that, he was a deputy in Yuma, Arizona, and an officer in Gilbert, Arizona. He also spent 20 years in the Marine Corps.
Bedwell has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in criminal justice, organizational management from Kaplan University, according to his campaign.
The candidate filing period is March 5-16.
A call to Lombardo’s campaign for comment wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.