Dec. 7, 2022, Letters to the Editor

Deputies key to success


Douglas County is currently facing a situation shared by many employers – we cannot fill all of our open positions in the Sheriff’s Office.  The difference is that most employers can delay or suspend delivery of services, but when the Sheriff’s Office cannot fill open positions, that means the safety of our residents is put at risk. However, unlike most employers, my hands are tied by collective bargaining agreement negotiations, and when neighboring agencies are offering our deputies higher pay than Douglas County to come work for them, the only officials who can fix this problem are those in county management. 

I think I speak for many of our Douglas County neighbors when I say that I have the utmost respect and admiration for the work of our Douglas County deputies. Much has been asked of our deputies in the past several years; a pandemic, two deputies shot and wounded, increase in mental health crisis calls, civil unrest, wildfires, and an increase in violent crime. 

We live and enjoy a free economy that operates on the principles of supply and demand.  To retain the high-quality personnel we currently have, as well as recruit new candidates, our compensation must compare with all of the law enforcement agencies in the region.  In the most recent months, we have lost deputies to Reno and Sparks agencies as well as Carson City on the basis of better pay and benefits.  A competitive pay and benefits package is critical to the Sheriff’s Office being able to function at its best and to keeping the best officers who keep our community safe. 

There was a time just a few years ago when Douglas County would have upwards of 50 candidates testing to become a Deputy Sheriff.  Today we are lucky if 5-10 candidates show up on the day of testing.  The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office currently has eight positions open – that is nearly 10 percent of our department, and I am struggling to maintain what I believe to be the minimum required staffing with this number of openings.  

I do not envy the county officials who make hard decisions to fund multiple worthy programs when they are entrusted with your hard-earned tax dollars, but I need their help. 

If the trend of losing deputies to neighboring agencies continues, I fear we will not have enough deputies to keep our community safe in the near future. Douglas County must do better than minimum staffing; we must provide the best service to this community that we can and do our sworn duty to keep our residents safe.  We must have good people to do that.  

The deputies are what makes the Sheriff’s Office successful; Douglas County deserves and should demand the best from its Sheriff’s Office, and my Deputies have risen to that challenge every time they were called upon.  I am extremely proud of their work and service to the community. 

The events of the past years have changed us, and they have changed the way our law enforcement agencies handle business.  We need the Douglas County Management to ensure our collective bargaining contract allows us to support our Deputies with pay and benefits similar to what law enforcement officers are paid in Reno, Sparks and Carson City.  We must prioritize the safety of our County, and we must prioritize the men and women who are charged to maintain it.

Dan Coverley

Douglas County Sheriff

Supporting deputies


In support of Sergeant Jeff Schemenauer’s letter to the editor Nov. 16, I would plead with the Douglas County Manager and the Board of Commissioners to take his letter to heart.  As a 50-year resident and a 22-year volunteer with the DCSO, I can attest firsthand that our Sheriff’s department is not only extremely professional but also a major as-set to our county. 

As a volunteer Chaplain I witnessed firsthand the high quality of our deputies.  On many occasions I would be called out to help a family experiencing a tragedy, such as a sudden death, only to arrive on scene to find a deputy or Sergeant had been so compassionate to the family that my job was hardly needed.

Over the years we have lost many good men and women from our Sheriff’s department to other agencies (even smaller departments) because of the inadequate compensation Doug-las County provides.

I give my wholehearted support to the officers of the DCSO in their endeavor to obtain a new contract that gives them the compensation they deserve.   I also encourage the citizens of Douglas County to show their support in the ongoing negotiations by contacting your Commissioners and the County Manager.

Pastor Rich Lammay

Fish Springs

Deputies keep us safe


Allow me to preface my letter by stating that my son is a Sergeant within DCSO.  A position that he has worked extremely hard and long to achieve.  Let me also say that he chose this career path of his own volition.  Why would anyone choose such a career as a peace officer?  Surely there are more lucrative careers.  The danger aspect goes without saying.  His wife, my step-daughter, his kids, my grandkids never really know if he will come home when his shift ends.  Truly frightening

Thankfully you will never know the terror associated when I received a phone call at 6 a.m. and hear my son Matt say, “Dad, Bruce was in a shootout last night.”  My heart sank immediately.  Most of you will never hear the shrill siren that wakes you up at 3 a.m. in the morning.  I pray for the safety of the responding officer and nervously wonder; is Bruce on that call?  

So why does anyone put themselves or their parents and siblings through such anguish?  

I’ll tell you why.  

Police officers choose this path to better their community!  To make their communities safe for their family, friends, and neighbors.  To be able to raise their kids in a safe and secure home and neighborhood.

Deputies and sergeants are currently embattled in a contract dispute with Douglas County that I’m sure you heard about or read about.

The dedicated men and women of the Sheriff’s Department literally put their lives on the line for all of us, the citizens of Douglas County 24/7.  

At the very least, Douglas County has a moral obligation to compensate them for their bravery and dedication commensurate with similar communities within northern Nevada.  

The inability of DCSO to fill their ranks increases the burden for the existing officers.

As I was growing up my dad reminded me several times to, “Always do the right thing.”  

Douglas County has an opportunity to do the right thing by our Sergeants and Deputies as well as the citizens of Douglas County.  I implore our distinguished county commissioners to seize the opportunity and do the right thing; otherwise face the inevitable, and lose more and more of our prized and valuable assets, our Douglas County peace officers.

Bruce Jacobsen



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