Executive Staff Biographies
Sheriff Mike Haley
Michael Haley was elected Sheriff of Washoe County on November 7, 2006, taking office on January 2, 2007. He was elected to a second four year term on January 1, 2011 and ran unopposed. He is only the second Sheriff in over 64 years to be promoted through the ranks and assume the command position.
Sheriff Haley has an extensive background in all areas of the Sheriff’s Office. He began his career as a Deputy in 1980; he has worked in and supervised every division within the Sheriff’s Office including Administration, Detectives, Patrol, and Detention. During his tenure on the SWAT Team, he quickly rose through the ranks from team leader to SWAT Commander.
A majority of his law enforcement career has been in a command or supervisory position with a major focus on budgetary restraint and innovation.
Since taking over command of the Sheriff’s Office, Michael Haley has made great strides in bringing the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to the forefront of high-tech law enforcement standards. He is responsible for the building of the Northern Nevada Counter-Terrorism and Cyber Center at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. These state-of-the-art facilities provide crime analysts the means to research and evaluate crime statistics throughout our region and coordinate efforts with other law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff Haley in 2007 implemented a technologically advanced method of reporting, tracking, and analyzing crime statistics entitled Area Crime Evaluation System (ACES). This Compstat-based system provides a way for all the divisions of the Sheriff’s Office to share information about current crime trends and act proactively to reduce crime.
Michael Haley was born and raised in farming communities in the Midwest. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army as a First Sergeant. He graduated with honors from Northeast Missouri State University with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice while being employed at the Kirksville Police Department. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Secret Service Executive Academy, Senior Management Institute for Police Executives at Harvard University, Southwest Command College for Law Enforcement Executives, and the Drug Enforcement Academy.
In addition to his duties as Sheriff, he serves as Vice-Chair for the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security, Chairman of the Nevada High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, past President of the Nevada Sheriffs’ & Chiefs’ Association, Chairman of the State of Nevada Network (SONNet) and on the Board of Directors of Leadership in the Counter Terrorism Alumni Association.
Undersheriff Todd Vinger
Undersheriff Todd Vinger began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in 1988.
Undersheriff Vinger has command and executive experience in both Detention and Patrol. As the Undersheriff, he is responsible for the managerial and operational oversight of all operations and fiscal management within the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and represents the Agency on behalf of the Sheriff in any event in his absence.
He is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s 116th Administrative Officers Course as well as the Police Executive Leadership Undergraduate Program. Undersheriff Vinger was named as a “Dean’s Scholar” for the fall semester of 2006 by the Department of Justice Administration College of Arts and Science, University of Louisville. Undersheriff Vinger is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police Executives’ Strategic Management Course sponsored by Harvard University and holds a Project Management Professional Certificate from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Undersheriff Todd Vinger is a member of the National Sheriff's Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Western States Sheriff's Association, the American Jail Association and the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association. Undersheriff Vinger is a Board Member of the Southern Police Institute Alumni Association, University of Louisville as well as a Board member of the Nevada Sheriff’s and Chief’s association. Todd is a proud graduate of the Reno Sparks Leadership program sponsored by the Chamber. Undersheriff Vinger also serves as a member of the State of Nevada 700 MHz Broadband Wireless Network Committee (SONNet) of the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security.
Undersheriff Todd Vinger is a long time Nevadan who is active in the community as a member of Lions Clubs International for over 18 years and had served as Past President of the Reno Arch Lions Club, Director, Vice President and Zone-Chairman for Northern Nevada and District Convention Management. Undersheriff Vinger has also worked with and assists the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Throughout his years of service to Washoe County, Undersheriff Vinger has been recognized for and awarded the National Acts Of Caring Award 2002 from the National Association of Counties, the Vincent G. Sweeney Award of Excellence in Search And Rescue, the Meritorious Service Medal, Exemplary Service ribbon, Special Unit ribbon with four stars, Training ribbon, Special Assignment ribbon, Idea/Community ribbon, Operations Service ribbon, Detention Service ribbon as well as a Certificate of Recognition from Washoe County for “Excellence in Team Work”. As a duty-connect U.S.Veteran, Undersheriff Vinger is extremely proud to have received a Certificate of Recognition from the Department of Defense as a “Patriotic Employer.”
Through his service in Lions Club International, he has received a Dwight E. Stanford Fellowship and a Life Member in the Lions Eye Foundation of Lions Clubs International.
Undersheriff Vinger has the distinct honor of being Honorably Commissioned into the Order of “Kentucky Colonels” since September 27, 2006.
Assistant Sheriff Marshall R. Emerson
Assistant Sheriff Marshall R. Emerson began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in 1990. Assistant Sheriff Emerson has command experience in Detectives, Patrol, the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy, Detention, and Search and Rescue.
As the Assistant Sheriff in charge of the Detention / Courts Bureau, he commands all functions of the Washoe County Consolidated Detention Facility. In addition, Assistant Sheriff Emerson is responsible for the overall protection of the Mills Lane Justice Complex, the Second Judicial District Court, and all its associated departments.
Assistant Sheriff Emerson holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 222nd Session, the Drug Unit Commander’s Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute For Police. Assistant Sheriff Emerson is President of the Nevada Chapter FBI National Academy Associates and was awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia.
Assistant Sheriff Emerson has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal as well as the Vincent G. Swinney Medal for Excellence in Search and Rescue. He also has been awarded a Special Unit Ribbon with Three Stars and a Meritorious Ribbon with Two Stars.
Assistant Sheriff Emerson serves on the Board of Directors for Join Together Northern Nevada Anti Drug Coalition, Associated General Contractors Emergency Services Committee and is a sitting member of the Washoe County Workplace Violence Committee.
Prior to working for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Assistant Sheriff Emerson was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC and an Agent In Charge for the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1993.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek has line and command experience in Detention, Operations, and Administration Bureaus. Currently, as Assistant Sheriff of the Administration Bureau he has operational command of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory, Forensic Science Division, Administrative Services, Regional Public Safety Training Center, Training Division, Research & Development, Backgrounds, Community Relations, Regional Animal Services, and Dispatch.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek has gained experience as the Director of the Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center and as the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Governmental Affairs Representative. Additional assignments have included the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Narcotics, Hostage Team, and the Clandestine Laboratory Team.
He is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s 124th Administrative Officers Course as well as the Police Executive Leadership Undergraduate Program. Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek was named as a “Dean’s Scholar” for the fall semester of 2010 by the Department of Justice Administration College of Arts and Science, University of Louisville.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek is a member of the National Sheriff's Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association, American Society for Industrial Security, Southern Police Institute Alumni Association, High Technology Crime Investigation Association, International Association of Law Enforcement Analysts, Security Executive Council, Nevada Airports Association, and the National Association for Search and Rescue. Assistant Sheriff Kuzanek also serves on the State of Nevada Communications Steering Committee.
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kuzanek has the distinct honor of being Honorably Commissioned into the Order of “Kentucky Colonels” since September 16, 2010.
Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam
Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office as a civilian in 1993, and joined commissioned staff as a Deputy in 1994.
Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam has command experience in Patrol, Detention, and Special Operations to include SWAT, K-9, Hostage Team, and Detectives. As the Assistant Sheriff of Operations, he directs the activities of the Patrol and Special Operations Division, including Investigations.
He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s 127th Administrative Officers Course. Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam was named as a “Dean’s Scholar” for the spring semester of 2012 by the Department of Justice Administration College of Arts and Science. Throughout his years of service to Washoe County, Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam has made skills training a priority. He received extensive training in the area of Special Tactics as well as Leadership and Command skills.
Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam is the Chairman for the Washoe County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board and a member of the Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. He is a sixth generation native Nevadan and proudly volunteers as a coach for the YMCA Youth Basketball Program. In January of 2011, Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam received the Distinguished Service Medal for his excellent work as a SWAT Commander.