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Reno Police - Northern Nevada Police Academies

Reno Police Department Regional P.O.S.T. School Held in 1967


In January 1965, a committee of Nevada law enforcement officers asked Governor Grant Sawyer for the establishment of a state commission on police standards and training.

Elmer Briscoe, Reno Chief of Police, acting chairman of the committee, said the group also suggested the state setup a fund, possibly from fines, to reimburse cities and counties for part of their police training costs. The committee told a representative of the governor that Nevada's high incidence of crime and high traffic fatality rate pointed to a need for the statewide action. "It is urgent that the men be better trained," Briscoe said. He suggested the counties with small populations would find it difficult to keep their law enforcement officers up to a statewide standard without state aid of some kind.

The group which called at the governor's office included Reno’s Chief of Police Elmer Briscoe, Sparks Police Chief Robert Galli; Washoe County Sheriff C. W. "Bud" Young; Robert Stenovich, superintendent of the Nevada Highway Patrol; Sgt. Paul Wilkinson training officer of the Clark County Sheriff's Office, representing Clark County law enforcement agencies; Jack Fogliani, Warden of the Nevada State Prison; and Francis Miller, Department of Probation and Parole. Also present was Gene S. Muehleisen, executive officer of the California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training, who acted as a consultant to the Nevada committee.

As a result of that meeting with the Governor’s staff, legislation in the form of AB-390 which would create a commission on peace officer standards and training. As requested by Briscoe, the original bill provided that bail forfeited for violation of the penal laws would go into a training fund to be used to pay 50 percent of the officers’ salaries and a portion of their living expenses for training purposes.

The bill was approved by both the House and Senate on April 2, and signed into law by Governor Grant Sawyer on April 8, 1965.
The new law created Nevada's first commission on peace officer standards and training which would allow establishment of statewide standards for the public protectors. "The police officer is Nevada's first line of defense in our fight against crime. His physical and mental fitness, training and morale are the necessary concern of every citizen." Sawyer said in signing AB-390 into law. "For the first time with the creation of a commission on peace officer standards and training. we have the means to establish statewide minimum standards for the Men and women chosen to protect the public. "I hope all the agencies involved will give complete cooperation so this commission can he fully effective. I will expect the commission members to work in cooperation with the crime conferences being organized by the attorney general," Sawyer said.

Five law enforcement and legal officials were named by Governor Grant Sawyer on July 2, 1965 to serve on the new commission on peace officer standards and training. Sawyer also named a five-man advisory committee to work with the commission, which will set minimum training and recruitment standards for all law agencies in the state.

Named to the commission were Nye County District Attorney William Beko, Washoe County Sheriff C. W. “Bud” Young, Nevada Highway Patrol Supt. Don F. Brown, Las Vegas Police Chief Lorin Bunker and Las Vegas City Atty. Sidney Whitmore. The advisory committee includes, Washoe County District Attorney William Raggio, Special FBI Agent Dean Elson of Las Vegas, Clark County District Attorney Edward G. Marshall, Sparks Police Chief Robert Galli and Nevada Parole and Probation Chief George J. Reed. Sawyer said the new commission, "must have full public support in order to be successful."

The new Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission immediately appointed Nye County District Attorney William Beko as chairman. Beko asked Nevada Attorney General Harvey Dickerson to clarify the commission's authority before it adopts standards and requirements.

Attorney General Dickerson concluded: All persons recruited as peace officers must comply with the minimum standards of physical, mental and moral fitness. But those already on the job as peace officers could not be required to come up to the standards, if they did not already. The standards also would not apply to currently employed peace officers when they move to another peace officer's job.
With that, all existing law enforcement officers in the State of Nevada were grandfather in and not required to obtain the required education or meeting any standards required by P.O.S.T.
The new Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission would mandate that each new law enforcement office would require 72 hours of prescribed education. With that, P.O.S.T needed teachers.

On February 3rd and 4th, 1966 the first of two courses deigned to make proficient teachers of key law enforcement officers in Nevada was held Carson City. The program was provided through the office of Harvey G. Theil, supervisor of trade education for the Nevada Department of Education. The program was conducted in cooperation with the Nevada Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training It allow law enforcement men to become certified to teach in the adult vocational training program. A second session would be held in Las Vegas in February.

The purpose of the program, Thiel pointed out, is to ensure that law enforcement officers who will be teaching specialized courses within their own departments around Nevada will be properly prepared to do the job.
Requirements for state certification in Vocational Adult Education were three years field experience, a high school diploma and 16 hours of instruction in teacher classroom techniques. Certificates awarded at the end of the two-day course would be valid for two years and would be renewable.

In August of 1967, the Senior FBI Agent in Reno retired and accepted the position of “Director” of the new P.O.S.T Commission. On November 3, 1967 the new Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) announced they had scheduled the first of a statewide series of basic instruction schools for Carson City, Nov. 7-9. Director Carroll T. Nevin also announced the course will be offered in Ely, Elko, Winnemucca, Fallon, Pioche, Tonopah, Reno and Las Vegas during the next three months. Federal Bureau of Investigation officers and other trained policemen will act as instructors. Their topics would cover the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, criminal law, laws of arrest, police ethics, accident investigation, patrol and observation, interview and interrogation techniques and public relations.
Nevin said the school should be of particular value to policemen who need training on latest U.S. Supreme Court decisions applying to police work. It will provide the first step for policemen expecting to complete 72 hours of basic instruction to satisfy P.O.S.T. requirements, as prescribed by state law. The first class would run from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily at the Ormsby County sheriff's office and an examination would test their knowledge. The three days of instruction will total 24 hours.

Shortly after the three-day session at the Reno Police Department, another Basic Police Officer Training Program was presented at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office on January 16, 1968.

The three day course began on Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. The course was planned for officers in the Reno-Sparks and Northern Nevada area who were unable to attend the Police Academy sessions conducted recently by the Reno Police Department. The Reno training program will be hosted by Sheriff C.W. (Bud) Young, Chief Elmer Briscoe, of the Reno Police Department. and Chief Robert Galli, of Sparks. Carroll T. Nevin, training coordinator of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Com-mission (P.O.S.T.), said that all peace officers, constables, game wardens, arson investigators and other persons charged with enforcing Nevada laws are invited to attend the training classes which will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the sheriff's office in the Washoe County Courthouse.

Chief Elmer Briscoe of the Reno Police Department would take the mandate for education seriously. After all, he was the chairman of the group that had requested the formation of P.O.S.T in 1965. Chief Briscoe would create his own academy at the Reno Police Department. It would be open for officers from other agencies to attend. He would call it the Reno Police Department’s Northern Nevada Police Academy.  

Day 1

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P.O. Box 60631
Reno, NV 89506

Phone: 775-200-0578
Fax: 888-496-0270