For one newly appointed deputy, Carson City is the anticipated greener pasture. Two others who left the Sheriff's Department recently found out there's no place like home.
Along with newcomer Keith Bopko, a 16-year-veteran of the Agawam (Mass,) Police Department, former Carson City deputies Brian Morton and Richard Pope were sworn in by Sheriff Ken Furlong during a ceremony Friday at the Musser Street offices.
"The one thing that really helped me base my decision to come back is the camaraderie in this department is second to
none," said Morton, 32. In June, he moved his wife and four young children to take a position with the Kitsap County (Wash.) Sheriff's
Morton and his wife, Nicole, grew up in Northern Nevada, and Morton said it didn't take long for them to become homesick.
"After about a month, my wife said, 'I think we made a mistake," he said.
With hardly a second thought, the family was back home in Dayton.
Morton had been a Carson City deputy for about a year before leaving for Washington. Prior to Carson City, he'd served with the Storey County Sheriff's Department.
"It's more like a family here than it is a job," he said. "I definitely enjoy working for Carson City."
Pope, 54, thought 26 years in law enforcement was long enough -- 10 with the Lyon County Sheriff's Department and 16 with Carson City. In May, he retired and earned a trucking license to be a long-haul driver for Swift.
Pope drove to 11 Western states in his five-month tenure. But the money wasn't what he'd hoped, and he said he wished he'd never left his job as a deputy.
"I found myself missing it. I missed the people I worked with," he said.
His wife, Cheri, was ready for him to come home, too, he said.
"I didn't think I would miss it here. This line of work is not that bad."
Massachusetts native Bopko, 37, admits he's been fascinated with living "out West" for some time.
"I decided it was time to do something about it," he said.
His wife of one year, Rebekah, was all for the idea.
After searching on the Internet for jobs in the West, fate brought him to Carson City.
"We bought a horse trailer from a man who lives in Silver City, and he said Carson City was the department to be at," Bopko said.
During a two-week visit in June, four ride-alongs with deputies clinched the deal.
Now he lives with his wife in the foothills of Genoa, with room for his horses to roam.
"It's incredible here in a very positive way," he said. "It's so different from the East. The people are more polite toward law enforcement.
Bopko concedes the locale is also a benefit: He is an avid snowboarder.
"Horses, bikes and boards," he said, smiling. "I'm really happy."