Sheriff's open house hosts 200 visitors

Thirteen-year-old Travis Clark waited patiently in line Tuesday for his turn at the fire arms training simulator.

One of more than 200 visitors at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office open house, the Johnson Lane teenager said he liked being able to take a close up look at the law enforcement equipment.

"I like the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) trailer and the bomb squad vehicle," Travis said.

Other demonstrations inside and outside the Judicial Law Enforcement Center included fingerprinting, Search and Rescue, Explorer Cadets, East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts equipment and the popular sheriff's canine unit.

Tyler Torres, 9, and his parents Gregorio and Connie Torres of Carson City, watched deputies put the K-9 officers through their paces in the sheriff's office training room.

Dozens of adults and children crowded into the room to watch the dogs respond to their handlers' commands.

The loss of K-9 officer Jon-Jon in a patrol car fire in February raised community awareness of the sheriff's office patrol dogs. More than $25,000 in donations poured into the department following the black Labrador retriever's death.

Tyler also said he was impressed by the display of a methamphetamine lab set up by Tri-Net officer Rory Planeta that showed the common household items used in production of the drug.

"I was thinking why would people do that?" Tyler said.

And, he got to meet Sheriff Ron Pierini.

"I liked the tours and watching how the deputies do their work," Tyler said.

Bill Rosendale, 35, of Gardnerville, brought his sons Drew, 10, and Hayden, 3, and year-old-daughter Alie.

His mother-in-law, Linda Cuddy, is the director of the county's Court-Appointed Special Advocates program.

"I wanted to show the kids the cool stuff," Rosendale said, as Hayden clutched a small plastic beach ball, one of dozens of items distributed during the open house

Volunteers also served up more than 200 hotdogs, drinks and bags of chips to the visitors.

Pierini said he was proud of the department's 125 officers and staff.

"They can do anything any large agency can provide as well or better," Pierini said.

He also thanked the department's extensive network of 300-plus volunteers.

The open house is held every other year during National Law Enforcement Week.

Three Douglas County deputies injured in 2005 in the line of duty - Robert Duffy, Erik Eissinger and Dan Nelson - are to be honored today during ceremonies in Reno to honor fallen officers.

The ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. at the James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial in Reno near where the officer died in the late 1970s.

Hoff was stabbed to death in Idlewild Park by drug dealers.


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