Sheriff’s Office Completes Investigation of Alleged Tampering With Fire Equipment

Reno, NV…The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has completed its investigation into alleged tampering of equipment allocated to the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District during the recent de-consolidation with the City of Reno Fire Department.

On June 29, 2012, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of alleged tampering to electric plugs and the hydraulic systems within the specialized maintenance equipment. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into the complaint.

The Chiefs of both the Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and their staff fully cooperated with Sheriff’s Office investigators during the review of this case . The investigation revealed that four heavy equipment lifts were manipulated in such a way as to render them inoperable.

Because the heavy equipment lifts were considered critical to the operation of Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District operation, they were fixed prior to investigators collecting forensic evidence from them. This decision, while entirely appropriate for safe operations of the lifts, destroyed any potential forensic evidence that might have been collected. This action subsequently limited the ability of the Sheriff’s Office to identify a suspect in this case and no suspect was identified as a result of interviews.

Given that no suspect was identified and subsequently interviewed, we do not know what motive or thought process this person or persons may have had in rendering this equipment inoperable. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is not investigating any other complaint as a result of Fire de-consolidation.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.