Chamber introduces sheriff’s candidates
A capacity crowd heard from the four candidates for Douglas County sheriff at the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday.
Dave Brady, Dean Paris, Joe Duffy and Dan Coverley spoke to more than 100 business representatives at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden.
Former Douglas County commissioner and school board trustee Brady drew the long straw and spoke first.
He said his first action as sheriff would be to conduct an operational audit.
“I want to see more deputies on the street,” he said. “One of our mission goals should be to increase law enforcement presence in our schools.”
Brady said the sheriff’s office should seek national accreditation.
“I have the proven leadership, executive level management experience and financial expertise to manage the department’s $16 million budget,” he said.
Paris, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant, said he knew he wanted to be a leader one night after narrowly avoiding an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
“That’s when I knew I wanted to continue in the Marine Corps, that I wanted to be a leader and I liked taking care of people,” he said.
He received his military police certification and became an investigator instructor while in the Marines.
“I wanted to better my career to better take care of my subordinates,” he said.
Paris said his last station was the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Pickel Meadows, where he had to learn to work with the union representing the civilian police force.
“I see a situation, I develop a plan, I propose the plan and I implement the plan,” he said. “Honesty, integrity, truthfulness and setting an example are core values I want to instill.”
Paris said he plans to re-energize the community policing program to bring the community and the sheriff’s department together.
Duffy, a Douglas County sheriff’s captain, recounted how he and his brother came under fire on April 2, 2005, at the Kingslane Mobile Home Park.
“I could taste the gunpowder in my mouth,” Duffy said. “It was 4:30 a.m. when I was called as backup. When I arrived I heard shots being fired. We were getting AK47 fire from a suspect. I was nearly hit twice in the head. The suspect ended up killing himself.”
Duffy said there had been warning signs that Josua Petri was mentally ill.
“He went to an Army recruiter and said he wanted to join so he would know what it’s like to kill people,” Duffy said.
Duffy said he has served in every capacity during his 23 years with the sheriff’s office.
“One of the reasons I’m running is to continue to bring mental health resources to Douglas County,” he said.
Duffy supervises the MOST team, which consists of deputies and other trained in dealing with the mentally ill.
“Mentally ill people left untreated threaten people’s lives,” he said.
Duffy started out with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office where he said he saw some of the most violent gang members in the country.
“I’ll never forget the day my brother and I were shot at,” he said. “I’ve seen lives destroyed by criminals. We live in one of the safest communities in the state. I plan to work hard to make sure it stays that way. I promise you I will not let you down as your sheriff.”
Douglas Sheriff’s Capt. Coverley grew up in Carson Valley and graduated from Douglas High School.
“I love my community, and I love the sheriff’s office,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity it’s given me and my family.”
The son of Douglas High Football Coach Bill Coverley started out in Albuquerque, N.M., after graduating from the University of New Mexico.
“When we had our first child, I knew we had to get home and to the community that loved me,” he said.
He praised the job Sheriff Ron Pierini has done over the past 20 years.
“We live in an extraordinary place,” he said. “People come here from all over the world, and its beauty is unmatched. The Sheriff’s Office plays a vial role in keeping this community the jewel it is.”
Coverley said he felt the relationship between officers and the community, and the community’s relationship with the sheriff’s office are critical to continue success.
He pointed out that he and Duffy are the only Nevada certified peace officers in the sheriff’s race.
“If one of the others is elected they’ll have to go to POST with all the rookies,” he said. “I see people I went to school with, people I’ve played sports with here. I love Douglas County and I’m proud of the men and women I work with every day.”
Sheriff is a nonpartisan office that will appear on all voters’ June 12 primary ballot.
The top two vote-getters will go to the general election, unless one of the four wins more than 50 percent of the vote. Then that person will be the winner.