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October 25, 2014

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Court marshal announces bid to become sheriff

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Steve Marcus

Angel Barboza responds to a question during an interview at his home Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Barboza, a deputy marshal with the Clark County Courts, says he will be a candidate for Clark County sheriff. Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced in August that he will not seek another term in office.

Sheriff Candidate Angel Barboza

Angel Barboza poses outside his home Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Barboza, a deputy marshal with the Clark County Courts, says he will be a candidate for Clark County sheriff. Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced in August that he will not seek another term in office. Launch slideshow »

Angel Barboza could be knocking on your door soon.

The 51-year-old District Court marshal announced this week his intention to seek the office of Clark County sheriff, making him the only person without a Metro Police connection among those who have announced their candidacy so far.

“Metro is a very good department,” Barboza said, sitting in his Silverado Ranch home. “It just needs a little polishing, a little more direction and back to public service.”

Barboza shrugs off his position as the outsider. He has 19 years of law enforcement experience, including a stint as a police chief in Wendover, Utah.

Before that, he was a funeral director and embalmer at a mortuary in Southern California. When a friend of his joined a sheriff’s department, Barboza joined him for a few ridealongs.

That’s all it took. Barboza knew he wanted a career change.

“I caught the bug,” he said.

Since 2006, Barboza has worked as marshal for Family Court Judge Bill Henderson. Barboza is also a member of the judicial protection team and a use-of-force instructor for the marshals.

Barboza says he frequently talks to Metro officers and researches issues plaguing the police department — all part of his plan to be job-ready if elected.

“Being on the outside, I haven’t been tainted by their administration,” he said. “I actually do know what’s going on. It’s not something I’ll be going into blind. Having been an administrator before, I know what course I need to take.”

Candidate filing opens in March. Until then, Barboza said he was reluctant to discuss his stance on certain hot-button topics related to the department, such as officer-involved shootings and the Use of Force Review Board.

Barboza offered this hint at his campaign platform, though: He wants to increase diversity within Metro, particularly by seeing women attain higher ranks, and restore community confidence in the department.

“When I tell the community I’m going to do something, I’ll do it,” he said. “They’re always welcome to bring their concerns to me personally. I don’t plan on being a sheriff that sits behind a desk.”

That mindset will begin with his grassroots-style campaign: knocking on doors to introduce himself and staging rallies.

Barboza and his wife, Becky — who have been married for three years and have five children and seven grandkids between them — had a family meeting last month to discuss his candidacy.

No one opposed the idea, he said.

“He’s a go-getter,” Becky Barboza said. “I think what he has to offer is very beneficial to the public, to Metro and to the county.”

Last month, incumbent Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced his decision not to seek a third term. In addition to Barboza, the three other candidates who have announced their intent to replace Gillespie are:

-- Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who resigned from the police force in July in protest of Gillespie’s decision not to fire an officer who had been recommended for termination by the department’s Use of Force Review Board, which Moody chaired.

-- Robert “Bobby G” Gronauer, a former Las Vegas Township constable, who retired from Metro as a sergeant in 1999 after a 24-year career.

-- Officer Laurie Bisch, who works patrol in Metro’s Bolden Area Command and ran for sheriff in 2010 and 2006.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but that’s OK,” Barboza said of the race. “I’m ready for it.”

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