Stephen Bloyd enters Storey County Sheriff’s race
Stephen Bloyd said a group of Storey County residents approached him about running for sheriff in Storey County after well-known town character Bob McKinney was shot and killed by a deputy in May 2001.
“They feel there has been a confrontational attitude on the part of some of the deputies in Storey County over the past four years, an ‘us versus them’ attitude that is upsetting,” he said. “They view it as harrassment and feel strongly that there needs to be a change.”
During the shooting incident, McKinney reportedly refused to respond to verbal commands to calm down and pulled a knife on Deputy Mark McCreary, a situation that never should have occurred, according to Bloyd.
“Officers should never approach an emotionally disturbed person alone,” he said. “They should always be in pairs and that could have been done without an increase in staff. Eight to nine officers work in the daytime and only one in the evening. It’s simply a question of managing the resources a little better.”
A private consultant and instructor, Bloyd teaches federal and local organizations nationwide on a number of topics, including antiterrorism, hazardous materials and emergency management.
A teacher at many police academies, he said attitude problems exist among police officers all over the country. There are many good deputies in Storey County, but more training is important.
“I would like officers to get additional training on how to relate to the public,” he said. “I have expertise in emergency planning, integrating emergency response with other agencies. I’d like to evaluate Storey County’s services, to see if they could be improved.”
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Bloyd’s services were in demand primarily at the federal level, focusing on antiterrorism. He used to travel two weeks each month, but now focuses on consulting and writing, jobs that can be done from Nevada. On the road for 10 years, he said he wants to stay home.
“I realize my background would be beneficial if I became sheriff. This a good opportunity to have a positive affect at the local level,” he said. “The feds don’t do anything efficiently and it’s hard to tell if I’m really making a difference.”
Bloyd’s career began in 1974, when he was a firefighter with the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department. He became fire chief in1978, a position he held for five years and started instructing at the State Fire Marshall’s office in 1980. Through them, he started taking classes at the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, Md. After he had taken a class, they hired him as an instructor.
He receives between 200 and 300 hours of training every year and was hired as an assistant professor for the University of Nevada, Reno, where he taught courses on emergency response to terrorism, hazardous materials and a command and control series.
From the Fresno area, Bloyd, 49, is single and has lived in Silver City, Dayton and finally Virginia City for 31 years.
“I have a million-dollar view from my front window and I love it up here,” he said. “I’ve visited 49 states in 10 years and there isn’t anyplace I like better.”
In addition to reading and playing the harmonica, he enjoys motorcycling, scuba and is a firearms enthusiast.