Keeping Carson City safe on the Homeland Security front

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Lt. Ray Saylo heads Homeland Security for the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Lt. Ray Saylo heads Homeland Security for the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Ray Saylo, 48, of the Carson City Sheriff's Department, was recently appointed as head of Homeland Security for the department. The position is one in which Saylo, a 26-year-veteran of the Sheriff's Department, is the Homeland Security liaison between the federal government and the city.

What are your qualifications?

I am a graduate of Carson High School and Western Nevada Community College. My degree is in criminal justice. I have worked for the Carson City Sheriff's Office for 26 years. I was a member of the SWAT Team for nine years and was a team leader. I have had more than 800 hours training in all aspects of tactical team operations and in terrorist intervention. I was also a detective for four years, and for much of that time I was tasked with intelligence.

What has Carson City received in relation to Homeland Security?

Thus far, we have received two Homeland Security grants. Some of the items we have received or will receive, in conjunction with the Carson City Fire Department, are radios, protective clothing, a mobile command post, SWAT equipment trailer, surveillance equipment, a security upgrade for the Public Safety Complex, Crowd Control and Incident Site Protection equipment, Critical Incident Response vehicles, training assistance, wireless communication upgrade and other support equipment.

What are some of the projects you are working on?

I am involved in a couple of projects. First is with the security upgrade at the Public Safety Complex. Additional cameras and monitors are being installed. This will greatly enhance the safety of both staff and residents who will use the complex. I oversee the grants for the Sheriff's Office pertaining to Homeland Security. I receive intelligence from the FBI and other sources and disseminate any intelligence that is pertinent to Carson City. I receive a lot of intelligence, but, thankfully, most all of the information pertains to other locations.

We will be starting a Community Emergency Response Team, also known as CERT. This is a team comprised of citizen volunteers with specialized training to assist the community in responding to any emergency or crisis. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency sponsor the CERT. This team and its training will greatly aid Carson City in any emergency. The Sheriff's Office works closely with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in regards to regional security issues. We also work with other state agencies, Emergency Management and Nevada Department of Public Safety concerning issues pertaining to the capital city.

In your opinion, how safe is Carson City?

Carson City is a very safe place to live. Aside from the occasional fire and flood, we live in a very safe area. All of the intelligence I have received would support this. But that does not mean we are not preparing for other possibilities.

What do you see in Carson City's future?

That's a tough question to answer. For the near future of Carson City, I don't see any degradation in our safety. The state and the Sheriff's Office are very concerned for the safety of Carson City. I see us continuing to upgrade our systems, most importantly our radio communications system which has been basically unchanged since the 1980s. We have had some upgrades and more are needed. With the acquisition of new radios, a new back-up radio in our Communications Center and a system upgrade obtained by a grant, we are moving out of the 20th century and into the 21st.

The sheriff's No. 1 concern is maintaining Carson City as a safe place to live and work. All of our efforts are in that concern.

What can other agencies or persons do if they wish training in Homeland Security?

Feel free to contact me, 887-2020 ext. 1201. I am especially interested in persons interested in the Community Emergency Response Team.


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