Deputy Joshua Gonzales is the latest Mineral County deputy who graduated from Post, or the police academy based in Carson City.
Gonzales was born in Reno and grew up in Schurz for the most part. He attended Mineral county High School, where he graduated in 2005. After high school, Gonzales worked at temporary jobs and spent a lot of time pursuing a career most people don’t associate with police work: Music.
“After I left high school, I was trying to chase a music career. I play guitar and I was playing in bands at the time. I got pretty successful, played a lot of shows and on a couple of records for kids I went to school with,” Gonzales said.
“I kind of ventured off, but I had to grow up at one point in time, and I had to get a job.” Gonzales worked at several local businesses, including McDonald’s and the El Capitan casino and lodge.
In 2008, Gonzales moved to Yerington for a few months before returning to Hawthorne and hiring on with security at Securing Our Country. “I had thought it was something I might like to do. I kind of liked it, and it felt right for me and I wanted to step it up a notch,” Gonzales said.
The next step was police work and Gonzales credits the job at SOC and the deputies he knew while growing up in Schurz and Hawthorne for helping him make the change. After four years at SOC, he left SOC and went to work for the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department.
In February of this year, Gonzales attended the police academy. He graduated May 8. “Post was definitely a whole new realm. You’re living with people you don’t know. It was like your first day of school,” Gonzales said.
The most challenging part of Post for Gonzales was being pushed to this physical limit. “I’d never been pushed to the limit that far. You reach your breaking point where you can’t go anymore, you go a little more,” he said.
Gonzales also mentioned he had to keep a high rate of mental intensity to make it through the program.
In his current job as jailer, Gonzales finds the most challenging aspect is trying to help everyone without always knowing what they’re bringing to the table. “I’m trying to help everyone equally and I hope I am helping everyone equally,” Gonzales said.
The safety and security of the jail are Gonzales’ main priorities as a jailer. “Not just of ourselves, but of our inmates as well. It’s a 24/7 job making sure the needs of the staff are met as well as the needs of inmates,” Gonzales said.
Keeping up with inmates who have nothing to do all day but figure out ways to circumvent rules about contraband and rules in general is another challenging aspect of Gonzales’ job. “They learn to make something from nothing. I’ve seen them make little bows and arrows so they can shoot messages across the hallway,” Gonzales said.
He cited the recent removal of prisoners to the fire department during the recent bomb threat as another incident that keeps him on his toes.
The job is not without its humor, however. Gonzales said one man with a warrant out for his arrest walked in and sat down waiting for arrest. It was cold outside and the man said he had nowhere else to go. The police obliged him.
Gonzales said this is his dream job. “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a cop, and in high school and afterwards, being a cop was always in the back of my mind. I intend to serve the people of Mineral County for a long time.”
Sheriff Handte concluded: “I’m ecstatic he’s here because of his dedication and professionalism. I’m very proud of his work here and his graduation from Post. He not only succeeded, he excelled.”