Tribe joins counties in war on drugs |

Tribe joins counties in war on drugs

by Jo Rafferty
Nevada Appeal News Service
Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal News Service J.C. Leonard of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini, Carson City Deputy Richard Batien and Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong with the bumper sticker "Drug Use is Life Abuse."

MINDEN – Sheriff’s offices in Douglas County and Carson City as well as the Washoe Tribe are joining forces in the war against methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini, Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong and tribal officer J.C. Leonard announced the new partnership Wednesday at a news conference in Minden.

A legal agreement between the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California police and the counties could be finalized by next week, and would allow for the law enforcement officials to assist during emergencies on tribal lands.

Until now in Nevada the tribe has provided its own law enforcement. There are four Indian colonies in the area, including Dresslerville, Woodfords and two in Carson City – the Carson and Stewart colonies.

“We will no longer have to stop at the curb,” said Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong.

Pierini said he has sought an agreement with the Washoe Tribe since 1994. This agreement would restrict Douglas County and Carson City law enforcement officials to assisting during violent or emergency situations only, and provide insurance and liability protection for the deputies. Washoe Tribe police would continue to patrol on tribal land.

“We’re doing fantastic,” said J.C. Leonard, a police officer with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California Police Department.

Methamphetamine use is prevalent in every Nevada county and on tribal land, according to Pierini. Businesses are suffering losses as well as the families of children and parents who are abusing drugs.

“There’s a huge outcry from all over the community,” he said. “It’s affecting families and children. It’s getting out of control.”

“Drug Use Is Life Abuse” is being organized by the Douglas County and Carson City sheriffs’ offices and will kick off with Red Ribbon Week, a national recognition of drug-free schools, starting Monday.

In Douglas County more than 7,000 red wristbands with the anti-drug logo on them will be handed out in schools next week. The bands can be used to get discounts at various businesses.

Furlong said the Carson City Sheriff’s Department is looking into the wristbands for next year, but this year is providing residents with bumper stickers from both Drug Use Is Life Abuse and the Partnership Carson City anti-meth coalition. Bumper stickers can be picked up at the sheriff’s department, 901 E. Musser St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The bumper stickers will soon be available at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, at 1625 Eighth St. in Minden. To check on availability of the bumper stickers, call 782-9903.

The Drug Use is Life Abuse program was introduced by Harold Willard, who is on the Douglas County Sheriff’s Advisory Council. He founded the organization with six other people in Orange County, Calif., 19 years ago. The organization’s Web site,, provides information on drug-proofing homes and contact information for parents and businesses that need help.

“We look to a lot of partnerships to evolve,” said Furlong. “We have not found anyone not wanting to jump on board with both feet. That’s very refreshing for law enforcement to see.”