Carson deputies to start carrying M-16s in cars |

Carson deputies to start carrying M-16s in cars

Nick Coltrain

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office just got some more firepower.

The office recently received 30 military-grade M-16 rifles to include in its patrol cars – which already include shotguns and a beanbag gun – so that deputies can be better prepared if any IHOP-type events occur in Carson City again.

“It’s one of those things of ‘what has changed since IHOP,'” Sheriff Ken Furlong said, referring to the Sept. 6 incident where Eduardo Sencion opened fire with an automatic assault rifle, killing four people in the restaurant and wounding seven, before fatally shooting himself.

“We realized how inadequately equipped we were.”

He said Undersheriff Steve Albertsen worked to get the free rifles through military surplus. The guns were modified from fully-automatic to semi-automatic. The office received the rifles through military surplus free of charge.

While they are all military grade, making civilian cost comparisons moot, the closest thing to it would cost about $800.

“It’s a very big move,” Furlong said. “But we are here to fight back and IHOP opened our eyes to what we (have to be) prepared for.”

Some deputies are still going through training to qualify for the weapons, which Furlong expects to have in all the patrol cars in July. Furlong said any deputies who aren’t qualified by the time the weapons are installed won’t be given ammunition until they do qualify.


When Furlong saw the three-month trend for total reported crime in the recently released May numbers, he said he had one message for his deputies.

“Go out and get them,” he said, noting arrests were up 8 or 9 percent.

The reports have total crime reported inching upward, but Furlong noted that the three-year trend is still down overall.

“It looks good for 36 months, it looks good for 12 months, but this three-month trend is really what’s got me concerned,” Furlong said.

Some of the notables were assault-type crimes and vandalism. Simple assault and aggravated assault reports are up 11 percent and 49 percent, respectively, year-to-date over 2011. However, aggravated assault reports are down from year-to-date 2010 by 24 percent, according to the report.

“These two seem to be our issue here: People cannot seem to keep their hands off each other,” Furlong said.

Vandalism reports also are creeping up, with a 33 percent increase in May over April, for a total of 53 reports. For vandalism that is a 50 percent jump year-to-day over 2011, with 246 incidents.

Furlong noted that that doesn’t include all the graffiti that the inmate crews and others clean up without reporting first.

“Much of the graffiti is removed before it was reported,” he said.

The report also notes that the numbers are down year-to-date over 2010.

On a brighter side, theft from vehicles also was lower than normal, with the month-to-month down 57 percent, with only nine reported offenses in May. Year-to-date, theft is down by 30 percent from 2011.

“This is one is completely preventable – lock your car doors,” Furlong said.