Sheriff celebrates Pierini Day with peace officer graduation |

Sheriff celebrates Pierini Day with peace officer graduation

by Taylor Pettaway
Douglas County POST graduates Deputies Salvatore DeRosa, Colton Waggoner and Steven Warfield along with Juvenile Probation Officer Kelly Megee pose for a photo Wednesday at the Stewart Complex in Carson City.
Brad Coman

Wednesday was Ron Pierini Day, and the longtime Douglas County sheriff started the day as keynote speaker at the Peace Officer Standards Training academy graduatin

“POST has done such great things… we have grown so much,” Pierini told the 27 graduates, which included three Douglas deputies.

He said that the academy was just the first step in the officers’ careers, encouraging them to strive forward with their educations and careers to be the best law enforcement officers they can.

“I want you to go on, continue to educate and train and learn about law enforcement,” Pierini said. “There is so much to do in law enforcement, there isn’t the time in 25 years (before you retire) to do all you can do. Learn about everything there is and all the different areas of law enforcement and you will be happier.”

Pierini said the officers graduating on Wednesday could become future law enforcement leaders.

“You won’t get there if you don’t do anything,” Pierini said.

But he also reminded the graduating class to stay safe in the performance of their duties.

“We want you to do your job and go home at night,” Pierini said.

Deputies from across the state received their certificates, establishing them as Category I officers, meaning they’re trained to be able to work as patrol officers on the streets. The academy is 17 weeks long consisting of 652 hours of intensive training.

Deputies Daniel Loyola, Kyle Smith and Joshua Valdes from Carson City; Deputies Salvatore DeRosa, Colton Waggoner and Steven Warfield from Douglas County; Deputies Matthew Galvin and Richard Spencer from Lyon County; and Christopher Gentine from Lyon County Juvenile Probation were among the 27 law enforcement agents to graduate from the academy.

POST executive director Michael Sherlock told the graduates they owed it to themselves and their communities to be the best officers both physically and mentally.

Going through the academy is no easy feat. It’s long days, weeks away from family and difficult lessons the graduates have to endure.

Class presenter, Nevada Gaming Control Board Agent Jason Woodruff, said law enforcement is in their blood.

“We get asked why be a peace officer, it’s tough,” Woodruff said. “Some say (the answer) is that it is something bigger than themselves, others say it’s because of freedom while others say it is to watch out for the community. But I think the best answer is that you can’t explain it, it just lives inside of us.”

In addition to the certificates, three deputies were honored with awards for their work in the academy. DeRosa received the superior marksmanship Award, Lovelock Paiute Tribal Officer Ramiro Soukup received the physical fitness award, and Elko Officer Dean Pinkham received the outstanding academic achievement award and outstanding graduate award.