Two-year-old Briana Sanchez could barely contain her excitement Tuesday as she tried to patiently await the promotion of her father, Bill Sanchez, to the rank of lieutenant.
"Yea!" the tiny, cherubic-faced girl shouted at both opportune and inopportune times during the 30-minute ceremony at the Department of Public Safety headquarters on Wright Way.
Sanchez, a 13-year-veteran of the Nevada Highway Patrol who finished first in the promotion testing, joined six of his comrades Tuesday in receiving the promotion to lieutenant.
"This is a very exciting day for us in the highway patrol. This is the first time any of us can recall this many were lieutenants made in a single day," Col. Dave Hosmer told the crowd of about 40 family members and troopers. The slots were left open after promotions and retirements. One slot is new, he said.
The following sergeants also received their bar: Lt. Phil Dart of Las Vegas; Lt. Jerry Seevers of Reno; Lt. Bill Bainter of Carson City; Lt. Roger Vind of Reno, Lt. Stephen Harney of Las Vegas and Lt. Elvin Hensley of Reno. Two weeks ago, Mike Cowley was promoted to lieutenant.
Now that they're officers, Hosmer said, 95 percent of their time will be spent in administrative duties. The seven promotions give the highway patrol 17 lieutenants.
"My heartfelt thanks to you gentlemen who are taking that next step to become a commanding officer in the highway patrol," he said.
According to Trooper Troy Lindley, Seevers will assume command of the Carson/Minden District and Vind will assume command of the Fallon/Fernley/Lovelock areas. Sanchez will be assigned to the training division in Carson City, Bainter is assigned to the headquarters division and Cowley is assigned to Ely. The Las Vegas assignments are not yet known.
"I'm very proud of him," said Sanchez's wife, Kathleen. She, along with the wives of Seevers, Bainter and Dart, participated in the ceremony by pinning the ranks on their husbands.
"He's gone through a lot for this agency. Being number one is a great achievement," said Kathleen Sanchez, a Nevada Highway Patrol clerical employee. She and her husband met through the NHP 10 years ago.
Hosmer called the newly appointed officers "round pegs" found to fit "round holes."
"These are the people that will be picking up the baton (of leadership,)" he said."But I must also thank the families that are here. The families are truly the backbone of law enforcement. The families are what keep the officers grounded."