Historical Photos

As with any career of 26 years, there are bound to be records that follow along the timeline of accomplishments. Yes, there were cameras and video recorders around in the early years, although they were not nearly as high-tech as they are today. Each snapshot tells a story, gives a glimpse into the past, simply click on the image to learn more about that moment in time. 

#1 Helping to Make Kids Safe

In the 1970’s, child identification became an issue as children were being abducted and murdered. There was no way to identify these young victims. Parents were encouraged to fingerprint their children, and keep a current photo and dental records. Police Departments began to offer fingerprinting and photos at events. I began volunteering at some of these events, which lead to my continued involvement in missing and exploited children’s issues locally and nationally throughout my career.

 

#2 Undercover: The Early Years

Very early in my career, I worked in an undercover assignment, both as an auxiliary Officer and as a Detective. This was a change from the clean-shaven, professional attire we normally wore. As a male, having an earring was extremely rare, especially in Law Enforcement, making it a very effective disguise. If I showed up to buy drugs wearing my earring, no one thought I was a police officer. I even had one suspect say to me, as I arrested him, “But, you have an earring!”

 

#3 Communicating in All Situations

Policing has changed a lot since the early days of my career. Then, police were respected and rarely treated poorly. Officers would routinely find ways to talk to people, usually for some minor violation or suspicious activity.

One such violation is hitchhiking, which at that time was unlawful everywhere in the state.

When we stopped someone hitchhiking, we would check for warrants and determine their intentions in the area. 

One day we stopped a subject approximately 50 feet from a sign that read: No Hitchhiking. A sign we had seen many, many times. When we asked the subject, “Can’t you read the sign?” To which he replied “What sign?”

It was then we noticed the sign was gone. I located it in the brush below, where it had been removed or had fallen. I held it up so the subject could see it, then we said, “That sign.”

 

#4 Reducing Juvenile Victimization and Re-Victimization

Juvenile victimization has been a serious concern for me all of my career. Working Juvenile crimes and gang violence cases enhanced what was already a passion for me. I worked with professional case workers and therapists to find ways to make interviews and examinations less intrusive to children.

This picture was taken while I was a Detective. At the time, the agencies did not have photos of employees. This was Sparks PD’s way of helping community members easily identify officers.

The boxes behind me are filled with mug shots. When we wanted to do a photo array, we had to go through all the boxes to find the right photos.
 

#5 Working to Help Kids Stay Safe and Drug Free

The Community Services Section of Sparks PD was actively working with children and youth. Along with teaching kids about drugs and drug identification as part of this work, I served on the Board of Directors of the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Project of Washoe County. The CAP Project went into classrooms throughout Washoe County to teach about good and bad touching, and helped kids know where to go and what to say if they were in an unsafe situation.
 

#6 Inspiration for Progressive and Participatory Supervision

Admittedly, I was not always the easiest officer to supervise. I remember working for a variety of different types of supervisors. Some more effective than others. This led to me trying to develop my own style of supervision. One example was the night I was directed to work a traffic assignment on the graveyard shift. I tried to convince the Sergeant that there was limited vehicle movement at this time of night and my time might be better served checking businesses and looking for suspicious activity on my beat. Yet, I was given specific direction to work traffic running radar. So, while I completed the assignment, a nearby business on my beat was being burglarized and vandalized for what appeared to be a long amount of time. Even though my shift was over, I went back to take the report and relieve the daytime beat officer who asked: “Where were you?”  When I told him I’d been assigned to run radar, we decided to take a picture of me running radar through the window while standing in the damage left behind.

This was one of incidents that led me to supervise in more progressive and participative way.

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