For Immediate Release
PR #:2000066
Date Issued:Jun 02, 2020 - 1:14pm

Sheriff Darin Balaam Statement on Metro Officer and Current Climate

CONTACT:Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

“This afternoon, my heart is heavy. I am saddened that a very real message from our community – the need for transparent and accountable community policing – is being overshadowed by extreme violence across our country.

“Last night, an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was brutally fired upon and is in critical condition. My family and I are praying for the officer and for our law enforcement families across this nation who were similarly affected by violence last night.

“At the same time, as a law enforcement leader, I took an oath ‘to protect and serve and uphold the Constitution.’ I have heard from those who are asking law enforcement to hold law enforcement officers who tarnish our profession to that oath and I agree – it’s past time we do so. I firmly believe there is more good than bad in our world – both among those in law enforcement and those not. Together, let’s focus on showing despicable members of our community that we will not tolerate their abuses of power or acts of violence anymore. We will not allow any individual bad seed to destroy our home or divide us. It is clear that now is the moment for change – deep, tangible and long-lasting change. As Mother Teresa once said, ‘if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.’

“Washoe County has always been a place where people respect, honor and fight for one another. Over the years, with peaceful demonstrations and the exercise of their fundamental rights to express their frustrations and cries for fair and equal treatment for all, our community has shown this respect and honor to each other. Law enforcement stands with individuals in supporting everyone’s right to protest peacefully. Violence and destruction are not the answer and will not be tolerated. The same is true for bad conduct by the very few bad members of law enforcement – it will not be tolerated here. Again, I commit to you that continuing to earn your trust so that we can protect and serve everyone is my highest goal.

“Today, let us all look within ourselves and remember that, as a community, we belong to each other and we cannot again forget that. Let us utilize this moment and those in the coming days, weeks, months and years to have a genuine conversation about how we move forward continuing to belong to each other, respecting each other, fighting for each other, honoring each other and making the change necessary so incidents like George Floyd’s and the implicit racial bias his murder highlights never occur again.”

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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