Two candidates have come forward for Churchill County Sheriff. The incumbents are Richard Hickox and Daniel Sharp. Hickox is seeking his second term.
Sharp did not respond to the questionnaire sent to both candidates.
Richard Hickox, the current mayor of Churchill
I wanted to be in law enforcement since I was a kid. I love helping people and I firmly believe that someone should be the voice of those who cannot speak; Someone must be the defender of the weak, the fearful, and the broken, by standing between evil and good and doing so with integrity, honesty, and courage. I love this community, I love being a part of this agency and proud to have been that voice and this advocate for 24 years, and I want to continue to serve, protect and give back to my community.
What is your experience in law enforcement?
In March 1999, she was sworn in as Deputy in the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office; More than 23 years later, I continue to proudly serve the residents and visitors of Churchill County. She has held the ranks of deputy, detective corporal, sergeant, investigative sergeant, captain, and sheriff for the past four years. I’ve worked for Detention, Patrol and Investigations, taught DARE, and been a member and supervisor of a gang unit. I am an agency coach for defensive tactics and have taught at several of our reserve academies. I am a member of the NvSCA Executive Board.
What training in law enforcement has been most beneficial to you?
All relevant and up-to-date exercises, if taken seriously, can be beneficial for your development; However, the one who really helped me was an interview and an interrogation class.
What kind of training would you like to see implemented in Churchill County that has not been offered (and if money is not an issue)?
If money isn’t an issue, I’d like to see some training in scenario-based interaction and advanced virtual reality.
What are your views on the Second Amendment and allowing citizens to keep and carry defensive firearms overtly or concealed?
I am a life member of the NRA and have been for a very long time; I am also a member of the Stillwater Firearms Association and have a Conventional Weapons Convention. When running for mayor, it is my responsibility to personally review and sign CCW packages and fully support those who can legally obtain CCW. I also support those who can legally own a firearm (choice) to open a carry rather than obtain a CCW; This is their choice and we are free to choose as we wish. Continue in.
How important is the CCSO’s interaction with other agencies like NAS Fallon, Fallon Police, Tribal Police, School District, etc.?
I think it is very important. As a public service, peacekeeping, law enforcement, and county investigative agency, we cannot properly serve the people and visitors of this county if we operate as separate silos from others and hold our strong position, information and services to ourselves. We must share, we must help each other to properly serve and protect this community and its visitors.
Drugs have always been a concern in any society. What did Churchill County do to combat the drug problem?
Shortly after being elected mayor, I had several conversations with then Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman and officials from the Nevada Department of Investigation and through the collaborative efforts of individuals at those meetings, we were able to re-introduce and re-establish the North Central Anti-Drug Task Force. This task force has been recognized as one of the most productive in the state and is a shining example of interagency collaboration and communication.
Has this problem improved over the past five years or has it worsened? I think the answer is that it has totally improved; Our local staff is very active. We have seen a shift in certain areas, such as legislation, that has hindered our efforts to lock down drug dealers who are considered cancerous in our society.
Law enforcement agencies across the country are reporting staffing shortages. What are some ideas to increase the number of deputies in the province?
We, like everyone else, are understaffed. We have tried to use social media more to emphasize some of the positives and what we are doing for our community; We do our best to get out and interact with our community in a positive way (and) show that we are human and that we have a life outside of uniform. We feel the positive interactions, maintain the support of our community, and remember our ‘why’ will lead those interested in a life of service to us.
The pandemic has increased homelessness or people living on the edge of a precipice in nearly every community. How has the sheriff’s office worked with other agencies to provide services?
We participate in Point in Time Homeless with Social Services and work hard with FASTT to try to reduce recidivism and identify those with housing challenges. We participate in a food drive every December that was the brainchild of Beth Riley. It pits agencies against each other to collect as much food as possible for those on edge. We’ll be installing a Karma Chest in the lobby soon. All of these projects, interactions and events are geared towards helping those in need.
Can you describe your leadership style in a law enforcement role?
I love my job. I love my community and want to help, so I’m pretty much the hands-on kind of guy who’s usually in the office on odd hours and on weekends. I strongly believe in the management mantra of wandering, so I will randomly show up on service calls or show up early and hand out prison meals, tour the facility and search a cell or two. I think it is important to hire and hire/promote people who know what they are doing and let them do it.
What are your favorite things about our community and how do they lead to good policing?
One of my favorite things about this community is the small town atmosphere and mentality. When something happens, the community rallies to help. We get a lot of support at times when our peers across the country are struggling and facing the exact opposite. This makes our work much easier; We always have people offering to help us. An Elks lodge member volunteered to buy a K-9 drug-resistant bulletproof vest, and then followed suit. When someone is valued and loved as we are in our society, it makes your job a lot easier.
What are the most useful applications of technology in a law enforcement role?
Finding someone who needs help when the time is on the line can be stressful. One of the greatest assets we have is software we’ve implemented in our dispatch center that narrows down the location of the 911 caller to mere feet, and the upgraded version now allows us to accept text and image. Field-to-transmit communications have improved greatly with the installation of in-vehicle repeaters for radios.