On Mike Beam’s first day with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in 1983, he was assigned to then Deputy Paul Gilbert.
“It was Carson Valley Days, and of course we had a pursuit,” said Gilbert, who is now East Fork constable. “When we got him stopped, I didn’t mind so much that Mike was screaming at him, but then he said ‘I’m not stupid. I’m from California.’”
Beam said farewell to county service on Thursday, retiring as chief of the Department of Alternative Sentencing, after more than three years.
The Marine Corps veteran’s experience with county law enforcement has been varied, including a dozen years as a deputy and detective, seven years as a special investigator in the district attorney’s office and eight years at China Spring Youth Camp as facility manager.
Representatives from all those departments attended his retirement party Thursday at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Building in Minden. Those in attendance included District Judge Tod Young, East Fork Justice of the Peace Tom Perkins, District Attorney Mark Jackson, Sheriff Ron Pierini, and more than 30 prosecutors, deputies, clerks, and probation officers.
Pierini said Beam was a hard worker.
“You’ve done good work and you’re a good guy,” Pierini said.
Young told Beam that he believed Carson Valley was a safer place thanks to his efforts.
“This community is a better place and a safer place because of what you’ve done,” Young said.
Beam said his county service came to 30 years, eight months and eight days. Beam’s wife Debbie works for the Douglas County Manager’s Office.
“I wanted to ride the pony four more years, but my nickels ran out,” he said. “It has been a fun ride thanks to a lot of people, but now it’s time to slow down.”
Beam thanked the employees of the alternative sentencing department for their support.
He also thanked everyone in the room for their support when his 26-year-old daughter, Candice, died in an 2007 accident.