Updated October 6, 2022 - 6:04 pm
Whoever wins in November, there will be no more questions about the fitness of the North Las Vegas constable.
The two candidates, Thomas Jeeves and Delgado M. Lopez Jr., each have extensive law enforcement experience and have long since obtained their Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification.
The outgoing constable, Robert Eliason, engaged in a long legal fight during his term over his failure the attain POST certification, which is a requirement for the office. He said a neurological condition prevented him from completing the physical test.
After the dispute, a new state law was passed requiring certification before candidates could even file to run for North Las Vegas constable.
So Eliason’s troubles are not at issue in the race between Jeeves and Lopez, which is nonpartisan. Instead, they are running on similar promises to improve customer service at the constable’s office, which handles evictions, civil courts summonses, garnishments and other duties.
Jeeves, 55, said he has worked in constable’s offices for more than 25 years. He worked in North Las Vegas for more than 17 years before leaving after losing the constable’s race to Eliason, a former North Las Vegas councilman, in 2014. Jeeves has been a deputy constable in the Laughlin office since 2015.
With Eliason out of the race, Jeeves said he decided to make his second run for office.
“When that happened, I thought to myself, ‘Well, maybe I should give it another go,’” he said. “I’ve been doing it all these years. I’d love to go back to North Las Vegas, because I live here.”
Jeeves has the endorsement of former North Las Vegas Constable Herb Brown.
Lopez, 59, said he has been a deputy city marshal in North Las Vegas since 2006. Before that, he was a deputy marshal with the Clark County District Court, and he said he also served more than 21 years in the U.S. Air Force working in law enforcement.
This is Lopez’s first run for office, and he has the endorsements of state Attorney General Aaron Ford, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and the police and firefighters unions.
“If they believe in me at their level, I hope the citizens that I protect and serve on a daily basis … I hope they would allow me to be their constable,” Lopez said.
Jeeves said he has three goals if elected: to raise revenue, to reinstate same-day service for most tasks and to improve overall customer service, especially working on communication with landlords and tenants to make evictions less painful.
“I don’t sit in the office and play politician,” he said. “I’m going to be a working constable. I’m going to be out in the field every day serving papers, backing up other deputies if needed.”
Lopez said it’s important for citizens to know that constables are merely acting on court orders and that their job is to serve the public.
“I want to establish a partnership with the community,” he said. “I want people to know that the constable’s office is a place to resolve problems. I want the citizens to understand that we’re here to assist them in any way that we can.”
Contact Jim Barnes at email@example.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.