After 25 years as a police officer with the Carson City Sheriff's Department, Scott Burau on Tuesday announced his candidacy for sheriff.
"This is not a decision I came to lightly. This is a huge, serious commitment not only to this agency, but to the community in which I serve and to whom I'm accountable," he said.
Burau, 48, first began working for the department in 1977 when Carson City had a population of 18,000. Now, Carson City has grown to an estimated 54,000 residents.
"I've felt the growing pains of an increasing population and the increased demand on this sheriff's department," he said. The department has about 133 employees and a yearly budget of $11 million dollars.
Burau is chief deputy of operations overseeing the command and patrol division, the detective division, the lab and evidence units, the communications division, the reserve organizations and acts in the capacity of public information officer.
"But I'm not just a manager. I've worked my way up through the ranks over the years. I've been a traffic officer, a narcotics officer in conjunction with state and federal agencies. I've spent a number of years in the detective division working people and property crimes, specifically child abuse. My 25 years here have been packed full of experience," he said. "I've had the privilege to work everywhere in this office."
Burau named four issues he is passionate about for Carson City.
"Drugs. Are we doing something about this? Yes we are, but obviously with the number of arrests we make for narcotics-related offenses, we aren't making a huge enough dent," he said. "Enforcement has to go hand in hand with education, but the thrust of the Sheriff's Office should remain as the enforcement arm and assist in the mentoring and counseling and educational process.
"I see the impact that this problem poses to our schools, businesses and elderly. We will continue to strive and step up our enforcement."
Gangs are also an issue for Burau.
"Gangs are real, they are out there. We presently have a concerted effort between the patrol division and the detective division, and -- for the first time in years through a federal grant -- we have a patrol secretary that now is responsible for tabulating the gang intelligence information."
Traffic in Carson City is another problem Burau wants to tackle.
He said a recent grant means the department can put an additional patrol officer on the street.
"We have bigger problems than just a need for more officers. We have congestion, and an increased presence is not going to change the fact that we have a traffic congestion problem in our community. But it can certainly make the situation a little less painful."
Technology, Burau believes, is important for the department's growth.
"Staying on the cutting edge of technology is important. It will slow the need for massive increases of manpower. Technology is a one-shot cost; personnel are ongoing."
In his current position, Burau has been involved in budgeting and hiring. He's been instrumental in getting grants and implementing programs that placed deputies in the schools and added detectives to the Tri-Net drug task force, he said.
"I enjoy a professional working relationship with our local government officials as it relates to government concerns," he said.
Married for 22 years to wife Colette, Burau's daughter Nicole is graduating from Arizona State and plans to go to graduate school at Purdue. His son, Josh, is a junior at Carson High School, a member of the varsity baseball program and has plans to graduate early and start college.
Prior to joining the Carson City sheriff's department, Burau worked four years for the University of Nevada, Reno, police department while earning his bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
"Being the sheriff of Carson City is serious business. It's not for the faint of heart or the ill prepared. These are serious times where experience and background is paramount. I have a stake in the direction this community is going and I think I have the background and the expertise to take this agency forward. My commitment and delivery of service is and will remain my number one priority," he said.