Race to be Washoe County's next Sheriff is underway

RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- More than a year remains until Washoe County voters decide who will be their next Sheriff, but two candidates are already holding events.

Adam Hopkins retired two years ago from the Sheriff's office, but before he retired he spent almost 26 years on both the patrol and detention sides.

Darin Balaam spent 21 years with the sheriff's office and retired in 2015 from his Assistant Sheriff post. In front of a packed crowd, Balaam kicked off his campaign for Washoe County Sheriff.

"For me it would be an honor of my life,” said Balaam.

He is hoping to follow the footsteps of his late father, Dennis Balaam, who was Sheriff from 2000 to 2007.

The election is still months out, but the younger Balaam wants to focus on three primary pillars during the campaign and while in office: Mental Health Service both within the detention facility and in the community, Domestic Violence Treatment and Prevention, and Community Policing and Problem Solving.

"I have the experience it takes. I worked my way not only from a deputy's position, but from a civilian's position all the way through the Sheriff's office. I have what it takes as far as experience, but also there is no one that has the passion and the love for this position," said Balaam.

"I'm the most rounded candidate of all of them," said Adam Hopkins, Washoe County Sheriff candidate.

Hopkins says he wants to give Washoe County residents the most transparent administration.

"I don't have a choice, I have to run. People are dying, people are suffering and I also saw some things happening in the jail that I know I have the answers to that I can fix and I can have an impact on," said Hopkins.

Hopkins wants to bring in an administration that is proactive when it comes to fighting crime. His platform includes reduction of crime and "Jail Population, Investing in Community Health: How it can save lives and money and preventing in-custody fatalities in the Washoe County Detention Center."

"We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem. We can chase criminals around, we can try to affect crime that way, but all we are doing is keeping that revolving door open," said Hopkins.

Hopkins and Balaam join Kim Meyer and Sherman Boxx as candidates for the job to replace Chuck Allen, who is in his first term and not running for re-election.