Sheriff’s Message, Week of April 26th
This week’s message is focusing more on this week’s upcoming events. Next week (May 4th – 9th) is the annual law enforcement memorial week, as we remember those peace officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. I felt it appropriate to remember Lyon County Deputy Sheriff George Rice, who was shot and killed in 1984 while trying to talk out a barricaded elderly man who had mental illnesses in Smith Valley. George is currently on the National and State walls.
Since January of this year, our narcotic investigators have seized in excess of 4 ½ pounds of methamphetamine, a street value in excess of $608,000 and approximately 3 ounces of heroin, a street value of approximately $24,000. This is the work of just two deputies. I am looking forward to the future, when we put two more deputies into this section, which should happen within the next 2-3 months.
Many of you have already read, that on Thursday night during a routine linen exchange, Ryan Coddington battered Deputies Parada and Sobol as he ran out of the housing unit into a locked vestibule chamber. Coddington was in our maximum security housing unit. Based on Coddington’s actions, it appears he was trying to escape out of the facility, but didn’t understand its security features. Coddington is awaiting trial for the murder of Alea Clarke. All three were transported and treated for minor injuries. We have asked the District Attorney to move all of Coddignton’s hearings to the Walker River Justice Court, which is inside the Justice Complex to remove any potential security concerns while transporting him between Dayton and Yerington.
Many have seen the vehicle accident this morning on Highway 50 in Silver Springs. All three occupants were ejected from the vehicle: one died on scene, and the driver died later at the hospital. The third person is reported to be stable at this time. It goes without saying, wear seatbelts, they save lives. I can’t count the number of times when I have seen people survive terrible vehicle accidents, only because they wore their seatbelts.
Finally, on Friday May 8th at 10:00 a.m., the Hoff Memorial will be holding its annual service. There is not a single Lyon County name on this memorial wall that recognizes peace officers who have survived a life threatening line of duty critical incident. In February, we submitted several names that were deserving: Mike Lange who fought and lost his pistol to a felony arrest in the Fernley substation and was severely beaten with his pistol, Rob Hall who fought against two in the Lyon County jail and was severely beaten with an iron rod and stopped an escape attempt, Mike Fletcher who fought for control of his gun with a broken leg in Smith Valley, Mike Gagne who was forced to shoot a subject in Fernley, and Tim Shaffer who fought against an inmate with an improvised knife during an escape attempt.
Unfortunately, these acts of heroism will not be recognized on Friday because of an unwritten Hoff Memorial board rule that an award must be recognized within two years of the event. Nonetheless, Deputy Chris Bixby will be Lyon County’s first name to go on the Hoff Memorial for a 2013 incident. He will be recognized and appropriately awarded during the Stage Coach Advisory Meeting on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. and then officially recognized at the memorial in Idlewild Park in Reno on Friday at 10:00 a.m. I will save that story for next week.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mathew 5:9)