Five public safety employees honored |

Five public safety employees honored

DPS Supervisor of the Year Sergeant Gary Smith (former Capitol Police, now NHP) is presented his award Wednesday in Carson City by Director James Wright and Deputy Director Jacki Muth.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

The Department of Public Safety on Wednesday honored five of its nearly 1,500 employees for outstanding service in the past year, including three based in Carson City.

Gary Smith was a sergeant with the Capitol Police during that period and was awarded the department’s Outstanding Supervisor Award for his leadership in that position both in Las Vegas and, more recently, Carson City. Capitol Police Chief Jerome Tushbant said Smith helped “take the Capitol Police to the next level,” in the process gaining the respect of staff and building morale.

“Through coaching and empowerment, the resulting turn around for the unit was astounding,” Tushbant said. “Arrest and report statistics went to a level that was unprecedented for the division.”

He has since moved on to join the Nevada Highway Patrol as a sergeant based in Reno.

The Civilian Employee of the Year award went to two budget analysts assigned to the director’s office in Carson City: Jim Dibasilio and Susan Hohn. Supervisor Sheri Brueggemann said working as a team they were instrumental in developing the department’s $410 million budget.

“They were the reason we made it through the budget process,” she said. “We are proud to recognize the quiet efforts of Jim and Sue.”

NHP Capt. Andy McAfee presented Trooper John Protain the Innovation Award saying: “John, in the 20 years I’ve known him, has epitomized innovation — sometimes in goofy ways.”

Protain was responsible for developing NHP’s bicycle safety program — including the rule drivers give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them. He has already been recognized for those efforts by being appointed as a member of the Truckee Meadows Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Finally, Parole and Probation Chief Natalie Wood presented Jeff Musheno the award for the Sworn Employee of the Year. He’s a member of the Repeat Offender Team working with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police to track down parole and probation offenders. Since he took that assignment, she said the team has made arrests in 185 cases and confiscated 65 guns as well as filing numerous new charges. Wood said Musheno was honored with a commendation from Metro for helping its robbery unit during an operation.

DPS Director Jim Wright said the awards are given annually to outstanding employees to recognize their performance.