Interview – Steve Adams, Candidate Lyon County Sheriff

Steve Adams

Steve Adams


Mr. Adams response was received after the first two interviews were published. In other words, his response was submitted past the April 21 deadline with no request for an extension. While deadlines are not set in stone, I generally would not publish any response received after the posting of an opponent’s response; however, I determined to post it.  I ask readers to take into consideration the late submittal and judge the response on that basis. 

These interviews are being posted on NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (  Reposting of any interview by interested parties must include the disclaimer the interview was originally posted in this publication. Questions or comments may be directed to Nancy Dallas at  or 775-847-0129.

There are four candidates in this Primary race. The two candidates receiving the most votes will face off in the General Election.

Steve Adams




1. Give a brief summation of your professional and political background.

• Over 35 years of law enforcement experience and have served in every capacity from patrol deputy/officer up to Chief of Police.

• 25 years of combined active and reserve service in the Air Force, Air National Guard and the Army National Guard.

• BBA degree – Business

• AS degree – Administration of Justice

• Retired from the military at the rank of Major after serving in several command positions and as the Deputy Provost Marshal (Deputy Chief of Military Police)

• Retired from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office as a Lieutenant – Patrol Division Commander.

• Registered Republican for approximately 30 years.

• Active Volunteer fire Fighter with my local Fire Department.

• Business owner in Lyon County. 

2. Why are you running for this position?

Since my retirement from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, I have received countless calls or contacts from citizens within the various communities of Lyon County to run for this office.

The Sheriff’s Office is a great organization with several outstanding employees. What they need is a leader with a proven track record to lead the organization into the future.

3. What makes you more qualified to serve in this position than your opponents?

The experience that I have gained during my adult life that has been directly related to serving and protecting.

4. What do you expect to spend on this campaign? Do you intend to spend your own money? To what degree?

An exact figure is not known at this time for the total campaign. So far, I have spent a little over $3500 of my own money and approximately $1500 in donations.

5. What are the three to four most challenging issues facing the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department?

Drugs, Gangs and Domestic Violence.

6. It is not arguable the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department needs additional staffing. Where is the greatest need for staffing increases and how would you intend to utilize new personnel?

My intent would be to have additional deputies assigned to patrol as well as the new jail facility. Both areas are in dire need of additional staffing and are undermanned.

7. Can staffing increases be made within the current Sheriff’s budget? Explain.

Yes, I believe the staffing increases can be made within the current budget. A Captain is scheduled to retire at the end of this year and I plan on eliminating this position. This would in turn allow the funding for this position to hire two additional deputies with a few dollars left over. Additionally, I would fill all seven of the vacant deputy positions that are already approved and funded and have been unfilled for several years.

8. The Lyon County crime rate has increased considerably. What strategies will you develop to lower the overall county crime rate?

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office will become actively involved in the gang task force and the tri county drug task force again. We basically dropped out of them and it is a valuable resource when your budget is limited. Additionally, I would resurrect the Reserve Deputy program, the Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) program as well as create the Mounted Sheriff’s Posse. All three of these programs would increase the presence of the Sheriff’s Office in all areas of the county and they are a valuable resource that is very cost effective.

9. How would you intend to create an atmosphere of public trust and confidence between the citizens and Lyon County law enforcement?

This is a very simple task to accomplish. The men and women of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office are professionals and their leadership will act in a similar manner. The leaders of the organization will truly lead by their own example and will adhere to a higher standard than the rank and file. All members of the organization will be properly trained, and will be promoted based on their performance, not by the “Good Old Boy System” that is currently in place.

Additionally, the personnel of the Sheriff’s Office will get back into a more community oriented policing style of law enforcement. Citizen and business contacts will be mandatory as well as community involvement. The Sheriff’s Office will be encouraged to be more pro-active rather than reactive as they are now.

10. With the reality of dealing with gangs and narcotic related type crimes becoming increasingly challenging and threatening to our quality of life, how do you propose to deal with these issues the next 4 years?

Currently the Narcotics unit has only one Deputy assigned to it. It needs to have at least one supervisor and three deputies assigned so that adequate investigations, surveillance, warrants and subsequent arrests are made. As it is staffed presently, it is ineffective and unsafe.

11. In your opinion, what is the public image of the Sheriff’s Department in the eyes of Lyon County residents?

The feedback I have received from all areas of the county is generally good, but there is some concern about the quality of service on calls for service such as burglaries. Many citizens have related they feel the basics are not being accomplished during the initial investigation such as fingerprinting or crime scene photos. They have also indicated that follow up investigations or contacts with them after the initial investigation is rarely accomplished.

12. Do you believe there is need for costly improvements/changes made in regards to the operation of the new jail facility? Explain.

I believe we have spent too much money on the current jail facility and additional costs should be avoided. The exception to that would be items that are mandated to bring the jail into compliance or for it to be certified. If there are problems with construction of the jail facility or with the vendors that have supplied goods or services to it, then they should be held accountable with no additional expense to the citizens.

13. It has been an ongoing debate as to whether deputies should be allowed to take department vehicles home or not. What is your position on this issue?

Take home vehicles for deputies that live within their assigned patrol areas is smart and proven to be cost effective. If you have an emergency situation that mandates the call out of a deputy, time is of the essence. The time that would be lost by having a deputy get into their personal vehicle, potentially drive past a crime scene or emergency situation to arrive at the substation and then return to the scene doesn’t make sense.

Obviously, deputies that live outside of their assigned patrol area or the county, would not have take home vehicles as they are not as likely to be called back to an immediate emergency as those that live within their area.

14. What efforts, if any, would you take to make the Sheriff’s Department a presence within our public schools?

It is my intent to have deputies actively involved with the schools. There are grants and other means of funding such as a partnership with the schools for funding to increase this presence. It is my intent to have specially trained deputies that are specifically assigned as School Resource Officers (SRO’s). When the schools break for summer or other vacations, these same deputies would be placed back into patrol. As everyone knows, the safety and security of our children is of the utmost importance.

15. If there is an issue of concern to you that has not been addressed in your responses above, here is your chance to elaborate.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office needs to improve its inter-agency support with the fire departments, the incorporated cities, other police departments within the county and the Tribal communities. It must also update the mutual aid agreements within and outside the county to ensure the public safety needs are met when a large scale emergency event happens.

Overall, I firmly believe in the Sheriff’s Office and its employees and the needs of the citizens of Lyon County. The citizens deserve the very best in law enforcement services and the proven leadership to accomplish that task.


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