Executive Staff Biographies
Sheriff Darin Balaam
Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was founded in 1861. He took the oath of office on January 7, 2019, a momentous step for a law enforcement career that began when he was 21-years-old.
Sheriff Balaam’s career includes more than 21 years at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. He held every rank from deputy sheriff to third-in-command as an Assistant Sheriff under Sheriff Mike Haley. His experience encompasses all three bureaus: Operations, Detention and Administration. He served as Commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Detention Response Team (DRT), and Hostage Negotiations Team. He supervised various special units, including: K9 Unit, Regional Bomb Squad, Detectives Division, Motors Unit, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center (NNCTC), and Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center (NNRIC).
As Sheriff, he firmly believes in the importance of education. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada Reno and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Southwest Command College and the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course. He is committed to supporting education in the schools as well as promoting continuing education for his staff. Currently, he serves as an adjunct professor for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) passing on the knowledge he’s gained over his career to the future generations of law enforcement professionals.
Sheriff Balaam is a fifth generation Nevadan. He is a native of Sparks where he still lives with his four children and wife Heather. The two met at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office when they were just starting their careers as deputy sheriffs and have been married for more than 20 plus years. They come from a strong line of law enforcement officers and both of their fathers retired from the Sheriff’s Office.
At an early age, Sheriff Balaam’s parents instilled in him the importance of hard work, integrity, and to always treat others with respect. He is a firm believer in transparency, leading by example and making sure all members of the Office know they are accountable to the public they serve.
Sheriff Balaam is committed to enhancing mental health services for inmates held within the Washoe County Detention Facility, attacking the opioid crisis, combating sex trafficking in our community and working with all Washoe County residents and businesses to ensure neighborhoods are safe, diverse and have the ability to thrive. He is a proponent of community policing and is dedicated to proactively addressing the root cause(s) of crime.
Undersheriff Wayne Yarbrough
Undersheriff Wayne Yarbrough is second in command of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. In this position he serves as the Chief Administrator and Executive Officer to the Sheriff. His responsibilities include strategic operations and oversight of all Sheriff’s Office Divisions.
Undersheriff Wayne Yarbrough began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1988 as a deputy sheriff. During his career, he has worked numerous assignments within the Sheriff’s Office, including Detention, Patrol, Detectives, and Training.
Undersheriff Yarbrough was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 and was assigned to Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. In 2000, he was transferred to Detectives where he supervised the Crimes against Property Unit and later the Crimes against Children Unit.
Undersheriff Yarbrough was promoted to Lieutenant in 2002. His first assignment as Lieutenant was in Detention Operations, including Courts, Court Transportation and Inmate Work Programs. He moved to the Patrol Division in 2005 where he supervised the Front Desk Personnel, Reserves, Community Liaison Officers, and the K-9 Unit. Three years later he transferred to Detectives to supervise the Crimes against Persons Unit, Crimes against Children Unit, and the Crimes against Property Unit.
While in Detectives he was promoted to Captain. He became Captain of the Patrol Division in 2009. In 2011 he transferred to Detention and served as the Division Captain until his retirement in 2013.
Undersheriff Yarbrough has attended numerous specialized law enforcement courses to include; the Southwest Command College in 2006, Senior Management Institute for Police, Boston, Massachusetts 2007, and is a Graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 246, to name a few.
Undersheriff Yarbrough belongs to a law enforcement family and is very proud of his wife and two children who all currently serve the community at local law enforcement agencies.
Chief Deputy Tim O'Connor - Administration
Chief Deputy Tim O’Connor began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office as a deputy sheriff in 1997. He has a range of command and leadership experience in all three bureaus: Administration, Detention and Operations.
As Chief Deputy of the Administration Bureau, he has operational command of the Community Engagement Office, Records, Civil Process, Backgrounds Unit, Training Section, Research & Development, Dispatch, the Academy and the Forensic Science Division (Crime Lab).
Throughout his career with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy O’Connor has served in a multitude of specialty and command assignments, including: the Training Section, Detention Administration, Training and Compliance Office, Courts, Motors, SWAT Commander, Special Operations, Administration and Patrol. He served as Captain of the Patrol Division prior to his appointment to Chief Deputy in January 2019.
A graduate of the High Sierra Law Enforcement Academy, Chief Deputy O’Connor also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Chico, and attended the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston, Massachusetts.
Chief Deputy O’Connor recognizes and appreciates the talent and dedication the Sheriff’s Office employees exhibit every day in their mission to serve our community. The teamwork and collaboration demonstrated by our staff provides a responsive and effective means to address the issues facing our society and helps provide a safe and secure community for all.
Chief Deputy Jeff Clark - Detention
Chief Deputy Jeff Clark began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1996 as a deputy sheriff in Detention. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of assignments to include Patrol, Detectives, Training, Detention and Administration.
As the Chief Deputy in charge of the Detention / Courts Bureau, he commands all functions of the Washoe County Consolidated Detention Facility. In addition, Chief Deputy Clark is responsible for the overall protection of the Mills Lane Justice Complex, the Second Judicial District Court, and all associated departments.
Throughout his career, Chief Deputy Clark has served in a number of specialty and command assignments, including Crimes Against Children, Crimes Against Persons, Street Enforcement Team, SWAT, RAVEN, Marine Enforcement, Bike Patrol, Commander of the Regional Public Safety Training Center, Commander of the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy, and Incline Village Substation Commander.
Before his appointment to the position of Chief Deputy in January 2019, he served as Captain of the Detention Services Division. As Captain, Chief Deputy Clark was instrumental in establishing and enhancing detention inmate release services programs. He is committed to continued partnerships with community stakeholders to increase continuity of care for inmate services, including medical care, inside and outside of the facility.
Chief Deputy Clark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. He has a Management Certificate from the Nevada Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission and is a graduate of the 129th Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute where he was named class president.
Chief Deputy Clark is an active member of our community, attends Life Church and enjoys spending time with his wife Jolene and their four children.
Chief Deputy Greg Herrera - Operations
Chief Deputy Greg Herrera began his service with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1994 as a deputy sheriff. Throughout his career he held a variety of assignments in all three bureaus: Detention, Operations, and Administration.
As Chief Deputy of the Operations Bureau, he has operational control over the Patrol and Special Operations Divisions. Units under this Bureau include Detectives, K9, SWAT, Search and Rescue, RAVEN, and the Northern Nevada Intelligence Center.
His career as a deputy led him to the Detective Division where he was recognized for his work investigating fraud, property crimes, crimes against children, internet crimes against children, and homicides. In 2004 he was recognized by the Secret Witness Board and presented with the Outstanding Crime Stopper award. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal in 2005 for his work on a series of cases involving crimes against children and homicides.
In 2012 Chief Deputy Herrera was promoted to Lieutenant and served in Detention, Special Operations Division, Training, and Patrol. In 2018, he was promoted to Captain of the Administrative Division. He served in that capacity until he was appointed to the Chief Deputy position in January 2019.
Chief Deputy Herrera was a member of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team for nine years and was awarded two Medals of Valor during that time period. He has command level experience in Patrol, Detention, Administration, and Special Operations. He has supervised SWAT, K-9, Detectives, Courts, Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy, and the Communications Center.
In 2001, Chief Deputy Herrera lost his mother to cancer. He emerged from that difficult experience with a mission to raise awareness and funds to support scholarships and charities in Elko and Washoe County. Some of those charities include; Hospice, Relay for Life, Friends for Life, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundations, and donations provided to assist families with travel and medical expenses related to their battle with cancer.
Chief Deputy Herrera enjoys spending time with his wife, Brandi and his two children Brayden and Kendyll. He is also an avid supporter of Nevada Wolf Pack Athletics.