Sheriff’s Office describes new dispatch and response criteria for patrol deputies

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office wants to make the public aware of new criteria for the dispatch and response of deputies in light of recent reductions required to meet the budgetary needs of Washoe County.

As Sheriff Michael Haley announced during budget presentations to the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners and discussed during a series of Town Hall meeting in May, this new criteria will be used as guidelines to ensure that reduced Patrol Division resources continue to effectively meet the needs of the public, while remaining available to respond to priority calls.

“Public safety is always our first priority and it’s important for the residents and businesses of Washoe County to understand that these are not purely black-and-white mandates,” Sheriff Haley said. “Our dispatch will continue to review calls on a case-by-case basis, using the immediate situation on the scene to guide the process.”

Effective immediately, Washoe County Sheriff Patrol units will no longer be automatically dispatched to incidents where:

Parties are already separated, except in Domestic Violence calls
The suspect in no longer at the scene
There is no evidence available at the scene
Total loss is under $2,500 or does not involve the loss of a firearm. (note, the total loss figure will rise to $3,500 beginning on October 1, 2011 as a result of ammendment to state law passed during the 2011 Legislative session)

Because the vast majority of intrusion alarm responses are for false alarms, Patrol Deputies will no longer respond to residential or commercial alarms unless there is additional information from a responsible party that indicates an actual crime may be in progress or have occurred.

In addition deputies will no longer automatically respond to:

Non-injury or Hit-and-Run Vehicle Accidents and Accidents that occur on private property (such as a commercial parking lot), unless one of the drivers is believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there is an existing traffic hazard to a public roadway or if there is evidence still on the scene of an accident that occurred on a public roadway.

Civil Problems in which there is no Court Order directing a Sheriff’s Office response. This includes Child Civil cases where the child is not in danger and there have been no violation of a court order.

Graffiti, unless it is a call to an act in progress.

Basic Property Crimes, such as vehicle burglaries, destruction of property, commercial burglaries, larcenies and fraud.

Threats, unless there is a reasonable belief of a present and immediate danger.

Juvenile Problems, Noise Disturbances and Dumpster Rummaging, in cases where the description of the incident does not arise to the level of a crime.

Lost and Found, unless the lost and found items are a threat to public safety such as narcotics or explosives.

The public may file reports with the Sheriff’s Office online at
Reports may also be filed in person at 911 Parr Boulevard. Front Desk hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For further information, call (775) 328-3001.

All on-line reports will be investigated and followed-up bya Sheriff’s Deputy. Anyone who would like additional clarification about the new response procedures may email or call the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division at (775) 328-3350

Over the past four years, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has reduced its budget by over $28 million through reductions and operational efficiencies.

“I appreciate the sacrifices made to date by my staff in order to meet the County’s budget requirements and applaud them for continuing to implement innovations that bring the most benefit from the tax dollars invested in the agency by the public” Sheriff Haley said.