Commissioner Curtis starts new job on Monday |

Commissioner Curtis starts new job on Monday

by Christy Chalmers

Douglas County Commissioner Bernie Curtis will soon have a new title that will take him all over Nevada, but he’s not planning on giving up the first title any time soon.

Curtis will begin a new job as the deputy director of public safety for the Department of Public Safety on Monday. He finished his last shift as a chief deputy for the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, a position that started as a part-time job in 1997, on Friday.

Curtis was elected to the Douglas commission in 1996, a position that alone can be a full-time job. His term expires at the end of the year, but he’s “pretty certain” he’ll seek another four years.

“Right at this point, I’m inclined to run again,” he said. “The commission job is very important to me.”

Curtis has balanced his commission duties with the Carson sheriff’s job easily, missing only one meeting in his three years on the board. His new job will include overseeing the Nevada Highway Patrol, the Nevada Division of Investigation, the state fire marshal’s office, the Capitol police, the department of emergency management and the parole and probation department.

He said the position, which pays $88,000 a year, is a good promotion that will mean visits to every part of the state.

“I did not expect this would happen,” said Curtis. “It’s an honor to be chosen and that people have this much faith in me.”

Curtis began working for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in 1972. He retired in 1994 and moved to Washington, where he immediately went back to work for the local sheriff’s office. He returned and ran for the county commission job in 1996, defeating the incumbent.

Prior to moving to Washington, Curtis served on the county planning commission for four years and on a citizen panel that worked on the master plan.

While pledging full commitment to the new state job, Curtis emphasized his commission work, which pays a yearly salary of $18,000, will remain a priority. He expects to continue spending evenings and weekends talking with constituents about their concerns, and the state job will have a flexible schedule that allows Curtis to attend commission meetings and related functions.

“It is a lifestyle, and it’s an enjoyable lifestyle for me and my wife,” said Curtis. “My commitment is still to the people of Douglas County. Hopefully, I’m doing a good job, and I intend to do that for quite some time.”