Carson City’s Michael “Sean” Giurlani is the Nevada Highway Patrol’s most senior trooper, and now he’s got the badge to prove it.
Giurlani received badge No. 1, the state’s lowest-numbered badge, in a ceremony Monday at the Highway Patrol’s Carson City headquarters. His 14-year-old son, Jacob, pinned the badge on him as family members and others watched.
Giurlani became the top trooper when Trooper Lori McGrath retired last month.
“You know, it’s really hard to believe,” said Giurlani, 47, who started with the Highway Patrol in Las Vegas in 1988. “When you first start your career, you’re thinking wow, how long are you going to be there. Now, you’ve done 25 years, and you’re like, holy cow. It came and went in a blink of an eye — you had a family, you raised kids. I never thought in a million years that I would hold that No. 1 badge.
Giurlani has been working in Carson City since 2006; he also served a stint in Reno. He said that while he has the tenure needed to retire, he doesn’t plan on doing so just yet.
“I like my job and the people I work with,” he said. “I am going to stick around for a little bit and see what happens.”
Law enforcement runs in Giurlani’s family. His sister is a captain with the Highway Patrol, and his brother is a retired captain with Parole and Probation.
He initially had set his sights on a different type of career.
“I wanted to be a fireman, like my dad,” he said. “He was a fireman here in Carson City for 21 years. I always wanted to do that, and I had a couple of friends who were troopers. You get that type A personality, with adrenaline rushes. With fire service, you had to wait for the call. In law enforcement, you go out and find it.”
Giurlani has won several awards, including Trooper of the Year in 2007, according to The Associated Press. He also received a commendation medal for his response to the 2011 shooting at IHOP.
Giurlani said he appreciates the recognition.
“It can be for the most part a very thankless job,” he said. “When you get this kind of feedback, especially from the command staff, it’s a good feeling.”