DAYTON - In the four years since he first took office, incumbent Sheriff Allen Veil feels like he's made great strides in the Lyon County Sheriff's Office.
"We've made a lot of very positive changes. We've raised the standards throughout the agency, we've addressed the problems that I saw prior to getting elected, we're more professional," said Veil, 50, who's seeking a second term in office. "We're not keeping secrets. We tell the public what we're doing. The trust from the community is much more so than it was four years, ago. We're much more community minded. As we should be."
A native Nevadan born and raised in Yerington, Veil spent his 28-year law enforcement career in the county he grew up in. He worked his way through the ranks, starting as a deputy and becoming a captain before the retirement of Sheriff Sid Smith in 2006 and Veil's first foray into elected office.
He points to a number of programs created or reinstated during his term as proof of his impact on the office and his determination to get it right.
Since 2007, Veil has written more than 40 grants, creating a sex offender task force, a street enforcement team, participating in the Tri-County Gang Task Force, running alcohol compliance checks, re-established deputy presence as mentors in area schools, re-established Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy and starting up Neighborhood Watch programs.
Under Veil's watch, the jail began charging inmates $25 per day, taking some pressure off the $10.5 million budget, 90 percent of which goes toward paying the department's 98 employees.
These new programs, and the realization that the community can be an invaluable resource for fighting crime, has helped to clear up many more cases than in previous years, he said.
"In 2006 our clearance rate was 19.27 percent, now it's 39.97. That's a gigantic change. We're solving double the crimes than we were before thanks to dedication, using technology and perseverance. There's no more free rides and we work our people pretty hard," he said.
Veil's Undersheriff Joe Sanford said he's also proud of the work they've done and he is impressed with his boss's drive.
"I think he's on the right track. He's forward thinking, and he's honest as the day is long. He's got the integrity and ability to lead this agency and he's made great strides," said Sanford. "He has a genuine care and compassion for the men and women of the agency as well as the people of the community."
He currently sits on a number of boards including:
• Vice-president of the Healthy Communities Coalition,
• Member of the Nevada Sheriff's and Chief's Board of Directors,
• Chairman of the Nevada Sheriff's and Chief's Association Board of Directors,
• Chairman of the Nevada Rural Sheriff's Representative to the Rural Law Enforcement Methamphet-amine Initiative,
• Member Lyon County School District Attendance Advisory Board.
Veil said his motivation is simple.
"Law enforcement is a calling, it's not a job. This is all I've done my whole adult life. This county is special, with its five different areas, and I feel I can go to each of the areas and relate to the people," he said. "I am definitely excited about what we've accomplished and look forward to serving four more years."