INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Once again, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has multiple patrolling officers who can call Incline Village home.
Deputies Noah Boyer and Cecil Courtney recently moved to the community. They join Deputy Paul Longshore, who’s lived here for 15 years, and Sgt. Bill Devine, who’s been here for 28, as full-time residents.
WCSO Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek said he began working toward rebuilding Incline’s resident deputy program since being appointed undersheriff in July 2013 in an effort to increase occurrences of someone being pulled over by a neighbor, rather than by deputies who reside in Reno or elsewhere in the county.
“Having served in Incline Village during the mid-90s, I understand the importance of providing deputies who are fully invested in the community,” Kuzanek said. “My personal experience taught me that when you work, play, shop and raise a family alongside the people you serve, you are able to provide better service.”
WCSO hasn’t required staff assigned to patrol Incline Village and Crystal Bay to live in the community since 2002.
Previously, as many as 20 or more deputies, sergeants, detectives, lieutenants and captains were full-time residents, dating back to 1985, according to statistics provided by the sheriff’s office.
It’s unclear the exact number of staff who’ve chosen to not live in Incline since 2002; WCSO was unable to provide those numbers by the deadline for this story.
As is the case with Longshore and Devine, Boyer and Courtney will keep their patrol vehicles in the community and report to work at the Incline Village Substation, located on Highway 431 just south of the Incline Gateway Roundabout.
“They’ve all been granted permission to take their vehicles to residences. It’s a given, it makes sense,” said Kuzanek.
In 2009, the sheriff’s office split Washoe County into two entities: a North district, covering all areas north of Interstate 80, and a South district, covering everything south of the highway, including Incline/Crystal Bay.
Prior to the shift, deputies living in Reno or Galena used to drive their personal vehicles over Mount Rose, which left them out gas money and restricted them from policing drivers on their way to work.
Over the years, the sheriff’s office has maintained the split — which also changed a staffing schedule of three, eight-hour shifts, to shifts of 10 and 12 hours — equated to no drop in service levels to Incline Village and Crystal Bay.
“Minimum staffing levels now are the same as they were then — there are always two deputies assigned up there for each shift,” Kuzanek said this week. “If there are specific issues or traffic impacts … residents may see other deputies or motor units. We can increase a presence, then, based on those issues on an ongoing basis.
“The difference now is we have more resident deputies than before.”
COST OF LIVING
Regarding Incline’s higher cost of living, any deputy who chooses to live here gets a $644 monthly stipend, a pre-taxed amount that’s part of the collective bargaining agreement with the Washoe County Sheriff Deputies Association, the department’s employee union.
The same stipend applies for staff living in Gerlach who patrol there.
“The value of the deputy embedded in Incline VIllage, to live there on a 24 hours a day, it outweighs the very minimal cost to put them in that environment,” Kuzanek said.
Courtney grew up in Gerlach and moved to Reno in 2001. He joined WCSO in 2005 and comes to Incline Village with his wife and three children.
“I am especially excited to have the opportunity to live and a raise my children in a small community,” he said. “I also feel that this is my opportunity to make difference in the lives of the residents of Incline Village, just like the deputies did in my home town.”
Boyer, an Alaska native, graduated from Galena High School in 2003 and joined WCSO in 2006. He lives with his wife and two daughters and said he enjoys skiing, camping and mountain biking — “anything outdoors.”
“My hope going forward is that deputies will continue to show interest going to Incline Village,” Kuzanek said. “Obviously, that’s subject to our budget, and their personal abilities to do that. But I want to do everything that I can to continue to work toward that.”
WCSO also in the process of upgrading the Incline Village Substation.
“After 50 years of non-stop operation, the substation is getting a well-deserved floor-to-ceiling makeover,” Kuzanek said.
The $70,000 project, funded through drug forfeiture money, includes new paint, carpet, furniture and a video conferencing system that will allow both WCSO and NHP personnel reporting their to better communicate with home bases in Reno and Carson City.
An open house is planned for the community to see the renovations; a time and date is to be determined.
“My personal experience taught me that when you work, play, shop and raise a family alongside the people you serve, you are able to provide better service.”
Undersheriff, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office