Community Mourns Former Washoe Sheriff Balaam

Photo courtesy Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
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RENO, NV - The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is mourning the passing of former Washoe County Sheriff Dennis Balaam.

The Sheriff's Office says Sheriff Balaam passed away on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 due to an ongoing medical condition. He was 63 years old.

Sheriff Balaam was home with his family at the time of his passing, according to the Sheriff's Office.

“It is with great sorrow that I must share with you information about the passing of a fellow Sheriff, respected colleague and good friend, Sheriff Dennis Balaam,” Sheriff Michael Haley said. "There is much I can say about the many contributions he made to benefit our Office as well as the community as a whole during his tenure as Sheriff. We will all miss his leadership, wisdom, and warm and ready smile. Together, the Sheriff’s Office family will mourn his passing, celebrate his life and honor his legacy.”

Sheriff Balaam began his career with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in 1971, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was a Reserve Deputy.

They say in 2000, Sheriff Balaam became the 23rd Sheriff of Washoe County, the first Sheriff in 64 years to come up through the ranks to assume command of the agency.

Sheriff Balaam's accomplishments include bringing the Amber Alert System to northern Nevada, acquisition of an armored SWAT vehicle to facilitate the protection and rescue of civilian and public safety personnel, improvements to the Civil Protective Custody/Intake area of the Detention facility and expansion of the Sheriff’s Office inmate work programs.

Sheriff Balaam retired in January 2007 after providing 35 years of service to the community.

Information regarding services for Sheriff Balaam will be announced as it becomes available.

Photo courtesy Washoe County Sheriff's Office.