Ralph Lamb, arguably Las Vegas’ most legendary law enforcement figure, will be celebrated with a new exhibition The Cowboy Sheriff opened to the public May 7.
Objects on display include historic photographs, a belt buckle, handcuffs, weapons, Lamb’s cowboy hat, boots, an award medallion, a custom bridle bit and a saddle. Items have been loaned to the Museum by the Metro Museum as well as Lamb and private collectors.
From 1961-1979 Sheriff Ralph Lamb enforced the law in Las Vegas, a city teeming with organized crime. Having grown up on a ranch in rural Nevada, Lamb brought an old-school approach to the job. He was not above getting physical with hoodlums to make sure they followed the rules. At the same time the community’s first modern crime lab and SWAT team were established during his watch. He also led the effort to merge the Las Vegas Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Department in 1973 creating the current Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Images courtesy of Ralph Lamb and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/Metropolitan Museum Association.