One of Carson City’s finest has been honored with a proclamation from the governor’s office for his outstanding work with the military and law enforcement.
Feb. 12, 2016 was declared as a day honoring Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Wheeler. Governor Brian Sandoval gave the proclamation to Wheeler for being a “devoted and dedicated Nevadan who served as a law enforcement member and a member of the nation’s Armed Forces.”
Wheeler’s wife Sabrina surprised him with the award last Friday at Js’ Bistro in Dayton at a dinner with their friends and family.
“I was pretty much surprised I had no idea I was going to receive it,” Wheeler said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the governor. For the governor to take the time out of his day to do this, I am honored and deeply humbled to receive (the proclamation).”
Wheeler said a family friend, Sandy Marshall, who works with the Children’s Cabinet, had been reading over his military retirement documents and had been so impressed with his accomplishments she had reached out to a contact within the governor’s office.
The proclamation was awarded to the Reno native for his military and law enforcement work for nearly three decades. Wheeler was deployed with the United States Navy from 1988 to 1991 during Desert Storm and was deployed to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2002 with the United States Air National Guard. In Afghanistan, he was stationed with the 152nd Squadron, where he was attacked by enemy forces and for that, Wheeler, along with seven other men were awarded the Air Force Combat Medal by Senator Harry Reid in 2012 for their courage and heroism. Wheeler just retired from his 27 year military career on Dec. 31, 2015.
“Nevada extends its deepest thanks and gratitude as an American hero as his role as a defender of freedom,” the proclamation read.
Friday also marks Wheeler’s 17 year anniversary with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. He was a part of SWAT for a decade, with four years as a SWAT leader. He’s also served in patrol, as a Field Training Officer, a Radar/Lidar instructor, a traffic stop teacher at the POST academy, and a Motors Division officer for 10 years.
“I knew I wanted to go into public service at a young age and so I joined the Navy,” Wheeler said. “I thought I wanted to be a firefighter or EMS, but in 1990, before I got out of active duty, I decided to go into law enforcement.”
Wheeler started with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy in 1994, and went to work full time with the Lovelock Police Department in 1997. Two years later, he began working for Carson City.
The proclamation also recognized Wheeler’s hard work as a Sheriff’s Deputy, saying he “devoted his life to protecting the community as a member of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, serving in a variety of roles and demonstrating exceptional commitment to law enforcement and public safety initiatives.”
Wheeler said he enjoys his work because it gives him a chance to share his experiences with younger deputies to help them grow professionally.
“I look forward to teaching the academy because I can share what I have learned with my experience, the good and the bad, for the young people,” Wheeler said. “If I can give them something to save them from injury or worse, I enjoy being able to give that back to them and that goes for the other deputies here as well because I have been here so long and I have the experience.”
Though Wheeler hopes one day to continue his career, and hopefully get promoted one day to sergeant, for now his priority is traffic enforcement with the Motors Division and working on the 13th Motors Competition in June.
“I just do what I can to do better myself in all aspects and my skill level,” Wheeler said.
Several of Wheeler’s coworkers at the Sheriff’s Office have expressed their support for him, taking to social media and face to face to say how proud they are of him.
“I am very proud of him,” said fellow deputy Bob Guimont. “He is such a legitimate guy.”
“Wheeler has always been a tremendous asset to the department,” added Sheriff Ken Furlong. “He just does an outstanding job.”