What We Do

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement services for the unincorporated area of Washoe County. We also are responsible for operating the only adult detention facility for pretrial detainees and sentenced misdemeanants within Washoe County. The Sheriff's Office is divided into three Bureaus. While each Bureau has a unique function, they impact the operation of the other Bureaus.

The Administrative Bureau includes Background Investigations, Community Relations, Training, Fleet Services, Research and Development, Records and Civil Sections, Dispatch, the Vulnerable Persons Unit and oversight of the Regional Public Safety Training Center.

The Detention Bureau includes the administration of the detention facility, alternative sentencing programs, inmate programs, transportation of inmates to court and medical appointments, court security and commissary services for inmates.

The Operations Bureau includes Patrol, Detectives/Investigations Unit and Special Operations Divisions.


The Administrative Division oversees and manages the functions, services and investigations that support all of the operational areas of the agency. This includes dispatch, conducting backgrounds on all employees, employee training as required by the Nevada Commission on Peace Officer's Standards and Training; training for all employees in support of policies, law and best practices, and training of new recruits at the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy held at the regional Public Safety Training Center. The Administrative Division also oversees research and development of new technology and management concepts, maintenance and trouble shooting of database systems and computer programs, and coordination of  fleet services.

The Administrative Services Division oversees and manages services provided to the general public in accordance with Nevada Revised Statutes or Washoe County Code. This includes Concealed Weapons Permits, civil processes, case requests, work cards, fingerprinting, warrant information and filing of reports, either on-line or at the front desk. This Division also provides services to law enforcement personnel in the field which may include criminal information.


Detectives investigate, arrest, and assist in the prosecution of those who commit crimes against the citizens of Washoe County. Detectives investigate all felony and some of the gross misdemeanor violations committed within the unincorporated area of Washoe County. Investigations are done in a manner that ensures the constitutional rights of all individuals. The Detective Division is organized into two specialized units: Crimes vs. Persons and Crimes vs. Property. There is also one detective assigned to the Sparks Police Department's Regional Sex Offender Unit.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office operates the only adult detention facility for pretrial detainees within Washoe County. The Washoe County Detention Facility currently accepts detainees from over thirty law enforcement agencies, including those at the local, state and federal levels.

Forensic Sciences

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office Forensic Science Division provides forensic services to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in 14 of the 17 Nevada counties encompassing over 80 agencies. The Division is a full-service forensic laboratory staffed by more than 40 individuals in sworn and civilian capacities. The staff members receive continuing education through training programs, seminars and conferences. The equipment in the laboratory is updated as needed to provide state-of-the-art services to the users. The Division is funded by monies from Washoe County, the user agencies, and grants.


The Patrol Division of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office is responsible for all law enforcement duties within the unincorporated area of Washoe County - an area of over 6,700 square miles. Historically, these duties were concentrated primarily around the central core of Reno and Incline Village. However, over the past ten years, the housing market trend has seen the development of large-scale planned communities in areas such as Spanish Springs, Golden Valley, Cold Springs, South Meadows, Pleasant Valley, etc. This trend necessitated a change in how the Patrol Division is organized and where the Patrol units are stationed.

Special Operations

The mission of the Special Operations Division is to respond to specific criminal incidents with specialized training and equipment to handle those situations efficiently and effectively. The members of this division are prepared to respond to requests from any other division of the Sheriff's Office or any outside agency in Northern Nevada to aid in resolving any incident or criminal case and help make our communities safer.

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