You Can't Buy Integrity

We want to begin by thanking all of the individuals who have donated their time, talent and treasure to the Campaign to Elect Sherman Boxx for Sheriff. With so many candidates in the running for this office, we appreciate the gifts and the confidence even more. Recently we filed our campaign contributions and expense reports with the Secretary of State. The report shows the names of those who contributed more than $100 to the candidate and how the candidate is spending those funds.

What may not be obvious is how the gap between the expenses and the donations is closed. That’s because a candidate does not have to report the money they personally contribute to the campaign. But, do the math, and you can pretty quickly figure out that the gap between donations and expenses is being funded by the candidates themselves. 

In our case, the amount of personal contributions have been significant. We knew it would be and that we would need to be willing to go “all in” or not bother running at all. We were told we should never finance our own campaign. We should let others fund the campaign, take the risk. We disagreed.  

We could not, in good faith or conscience, ask others to donate to the campaign unless we believed and were invested in it ourselves. We discussed what it would take, and set about saving and allocating our own funds to the campaign account. We also asked for donations from friends and community members who believed in my experience, my integrity and my platform:

·         Regional Cooperation. Bringing more government agencies and services together to increase efficiency and public safety – in the community and within the agency.

·         Revitalization. Refreshing our community policing philosophy to rebuild relationships within our neighborhoods and help people feel comfortable asking the Sheriff’s Office for help.

·         Revamped Communications. Establishing a better way for citizens to communicate with the agency.

I am encouraging voters to take time to review the May 22, 2018 Sheriff Candidates’ filings and look for the stories and expectations behind the money. Who is paying for the campaign? Whose interests are represented? Perhaps large corporations or sectors who believe that by investing heavily in a candidate they will hold sway over the Sheriff’s Office after the election?

We are in a period of growth, housing shortages, insufficient infrastructure and resources – which extends to public safety. These shortages are made more challenging by increased demands for service due to mental health issues and homelessness of those in the Sheriff’s custody. These are the concerns raised in the community meetings I've attended. There are tough conversations ahead for the Sheriff when it comes to ensuring sufficient resources are in place to serve our County. The Sheriff needs to retain autonomy to serve the public. Those who know me, know I don’t shy away from difficult conversations, I stand up for what’s right, and I uphold my commitments.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is important to this community. I believe I am the best candidate for the job because of my years of experience, navigating tough conversations and decisions, and I keep the safety and well-being of the entire county and the employees who serve at the center of my leadership.


Posted on 30 May 2018, 20:59 - Category: General

Decriminalizing the Mentally Ill

It is no secret that there is a crisis happening across our country linking mental health issues with high incarceration rates and jail overcrowding. There is also a profound connection between states with low access to mental health services and a high rate of adults in the criminal justice system (1).

As your next Sheriff, one of my top priorities will be helping people who are struggling with mental illness get out of jail and connected with resources that can actually help them. Washoe County offers a variety of mental health services, but unfortunately many individuals who need help the most, do not have the means to access these programs.

The first piece of research I’d bring back to the Sheriff’s Office for further discussion is the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM). This model was discussed during the Governor’s 2016 Opioid Summit, with strong interest from partners across the State. SIM provides a framework for communities to use when considering the interaction between the criminal justice and mental health systems. It promotes collaboration across agencies, and sharing of resources, and providing training to officers to be more engaged, for instance in co-response teams.

“The model envisions a series of points of interception at which an intervention can be made to prevent individuals from entering or penetrating deeper into the criminal justice system. Ideally, most people will be intercepted at early points, with decreasing numbers at each subsequent point. The interception points are law enforcement and emergency services; initial detention and initial hearings; jail, courts, forensic evaluations, and forensic commitments; reentry from jails, state prisons, and forensic hospitalization; and community corrections and community support.” (3)

Another well-executed strategy is a new ride along program recently implemented in Colorado.(2) In short, mental health professionals ride with officers during some 911 responses and some routine patrols to help analyze the scene and determine if the individual in question should be brought to a treatment facility instead of the jail.

Another example here locally, is the Mobile Outreach and Safety Team, or MOST. In partnership with Carson City Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the Carson City Sheriff's Office has created a program that pairs a social worker with deputies on patrol to help individuals who have mental health issues in the community. The goal of this program is to help reduce the amount of mentally ill individuals being arrested and jailed in the community by providing preventative assistance through law enforcement contact.

This innovative protocol is pushing for a new approach to how police officers handle cases involving mental illness and drug addiction. I believe it is important to continue encouraging law enforcement agencies to steer low-level offenders toward treatment rather than jail.

As your next sheriff, I will be dedicated to serving the people of our community, ensuring that citizens who need help are led to those resources, and make sure the jail is a safe place for staff and inmates alike.


Posted on 29 May 2018, 15:02 - Category: General

104.1 Radio Interview with Candidate for Sheriff - Sherman Boxx

Posted on 14 May 2018, 09:39 - Category: Video

Itís Time to Separate Washoe Countyís Dispatch and Crime Lab Services

It is time to separate the crime lab from dispatch services and address the issues independent of each other. This will require serious negotiations, looking at what is best for the community, and keeping an open mind.

In 1990 the Board of County Commissioners made an arrangement with the City of Reno to trade Reno’s dispatch assistance for the County’s crime lab services. Over the past 28 years, charges for these crime lab services and the cost of personnel has increased tremendously. Although several fiscal equity studies have been conducted to verify that, there has been no resolve, and the Reno Police Department has continued to receive crime lab services - a service that now cost 1.2 million dollars annually to the County.

It has been said on many occasions by City and County officials that pay inequity and confusion regarding management are two issues that need to be addressed and repaired within the Dispatch Center. While the Sheriff’s Dispatch operators are trained in Emergency Police, Emergency Fire, and Emergency Medical; Reno’s dispatchers are trained in Emergency Police and Emergency Fire calls, with all Medical Emergencies routed to REMSA.

We need to separate the crime lab from dispatch services and consolidate dispatch under the Sheriff’s management. The course of action is to train all dispatch employees in all three communications disciplines: Emergency Police, Emergency Fire and Emergency Medical Dispatch – and also bringing the Medical Dispatchers into the same room. 

The crime lab is a separate issue. There is no statutory obligation for the Sheriff to even have a crime lab. Our crime lab provides investigative support with a full-service crime scene unit that specializes in DNA, Toxicology, Controlled Substances, and Firearms. These services are provided to agencies in the Valley and throughout Northern Nevada, for which there's a fee.

It is rumored that the City of Sparks will no longer pay their crime lab services, citing that since they pay county property taxes, they should be entitled to this service at no cost.

The cities of Reno and Sparks both prepare annual budgets to provide service to the citizens. Crime Lab services need to be a line item in their budgets. Our crime lab is nationally recognized for being exceptionally good at what they do, and if the local agencies want to use this service, they need to pay their part.

I am urging the City and County officials to work together to resolve these issues and to reiterate that if cities do not pay their crime lab bill, they will need to find crime lab services elsewhere. As your Sheriff, I will be receptive to negotiating and resolving this inequity.




Posted on 11 May 2018, 19:12 - Category: Editorials

Regional Cooperation and Summer Fire Safety

Last year the Bureau of Land Management Fire Investigator found that target shooting was responsible for roughly 40 percent of human-caused fires in our region(1).

In Washoe County, shooting is not allowed within 5,000 feet of any occupied dwelling(2). The rapid development across Washoe County is continuously pushing target shooters out of their designated zones, giving them limited options for places to safely practice.

I believe the best option to allow shooters a safe space, free of civilians, with a lower risk of creating a wild fire, is the open range located on Pyramid Highway that the County owns. Currently, there is a fee to use this range, and it is only open 4 days a week.

I would propose that we make the range open to the public, seven days a week, at no cost - during fire season. Since this area is well maintained, citizens would be able to use the facility with minimal risk of sparking a fire.

As the Sheriff, I would provide additional Range Safety Officers to help offset the cost of operating of the range.

Paying for an Officer to be on site at the Range is more cost-effective than the alternative of fighting wildfires. Once a fire breaks out, not only do the Fire Department and the Police Department have to respond and often conduct evacuations, other assets are called in, such as Search and Rescue for evacuations and R.A.V.E.N. for fire suppression.

It is truly a cost to every agency in the county each time there's a fire, and that is before you factor in the loss of property and life.

As your next Sheriff, I will work with our policymakers to ensure that we are making the best use of our resources and keeping civilian safety at the top of mind.




Posted on 23 Apr 2018, 01:32 - Category: Editorials

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