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Sheriff candidate Bedwell on Las Vegas shooting records, transparency

Records from the Oct. 1 tragedy, including police body camera footage, should be released immediately. The Metropolitan Police Department needs to be more transparent, and more gun control isn’t needed to increase security on the Strip. That’s according to sheriff candidate Tim Bedwell.

“We can’t turn the corner on this until the public sees the records and knows what happened,” said Bedwell. “The law is very clear on records. In most cases throughout the country, where we’ve had these traumatic incidents, the police have tried to get out within a couple weeks the basics things like we’ve seen today, finally.

“If some of this is still being battled when I become sheriff in January of 2019, I’ll release that public record.”

Bedwell said that “based on the conversations I’ve had with victims, they would have rather been through this already.”

He also criticized Sheriff Joe Lombardo for proving the public incorrect information after the Oct. 1 shooting and then dramatically curtailing media briefings.

“The biggest difference between myself and the incumbent, when I’m challenged, I stay in the room,” said Bedwell. “If you have concerns about what I said or it looks like I said one thing and then later said another — clearly that happened — it’s not in the public interest for me to then withdraw.

“As sheriff, I will do at least one day a month, dedicated to public relations, media and make myself accessible to the public and the media.”

Gun control isn’t the best way to increase security on the Strip said Bedwell. He proposed increasing Metro coordination with private security efforts at Strip resorts.

The gang unit would also be a focus for Bedwell. Lombardo disbanded it in 2015 and then brought it back in 2017.

“It needs to be back with more officers involved than they had before they were taken down,” said Bedwell. “I think we need to get it back together soon, actually immediately. It needs to be truly the same way that it was before with some additional resources so we can make up for the time lost, because it’s a problem that’s out of control.

Adding more police officers isn’t a “priority,” because Metro is already “growing with two police academies a year.” Bedwell said he isn’t concerned with almost 2,500 police department employees making more than $140,000 a year in total compensation, because he believes previous negotiators thought it was “sustainable.”

“The most important thing is that when we go into these negotiations with the union, we ensure there is long-term longevity factored in,” he said.

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