Known to many in the community, Adams became a deputy in 1996 with the department he now commands. Having held many hats within the department, he held positions from street deputy to investigations.
Having worked with other deputies, Adams would help in developing a narcotic task force within the county where the investigations were handled after weeks and even months of pain-staking work.
“There is no need to make an arrest if you aren’t going to get a conviction,” Adams states. “All that hard work would have been for nothing.”
Understanding the importance of officer safety, Adams would obtain the first ballistic vest grant for Mineral County.
“I had the opportunity to work for some great sheriff’s I learned something from every one of them,” he reflects.
Law enforcement is in his blood. The son of former Nye County chief investigator, John R. Adams, led the charge over land verses mineral rights and served in Mineral County under Sheriff Hefty Sanderson. Adams hadn’t decided on what he wanted to do in life in his early years but after getting a taste of the academy, he hasn’t looked back.
The most important issue he is facing as he has entered into office is his personnel shortage. Upon walking through the door on his first day, he was four deputies short and three dispatchers down. Fully staffed, the Sheriff’s Office should have 13 deputies and five dispatchers. He is 55 percent shy in dispatch and around 33 percent on patrol.
“The law enforcement officers of Mineral County are busting their butts for Mineral County right now,” he says, regarding the shortage. “The need to be commended for that because its week in and week out here for a couple of months now that those types of hours are being worked [120 hours a pay period for some officers].”
The plans the new sheriff has are to make this department as good as he can get it and to bring accountability to all of us, within Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. One of the steps he has taken is to move the dispatch center. Currently, the center, is located in a small room with no windows or ventilation. With the move, he feels that not only with the equipment work better – but the moral of those who used to work within the small space will improve.
“My plan is to get my officers back in touch with the citizens of Mineral County. We need to get back into contact with those we serve and that is, you.”
Taking the oath, Adams knew that the first few months he would have to be an administrative sheriff getting in touch with personnel and budgets but will be back on the streets in no time. He makes it clear, “First and foremost, my job is to be the sheriff. That is my primary job – I can assist with patrol or even the jail as a secondary. You didn’t elect me to be a patrol deputy. You didn’t elect me to work in the jail. You elected me to make sure I had all the right personnel to do that for you and to do it well.”
Drugs are still a problem in our communities and when asked how he will handle it, he states, “Investigations, investigations, investigations. We are going to investigate. We are going to document. We are going to follow up through prosecution. We are not going to be in a rush. We are going to slow down and investigate. When you do that – you will make positive strides.”
First change on the horizon is to slow down and investigate and document. Including the driving and investigations. “Everyone has been on sort of a whirlwind with all the hours that they have been working and such. It feels like they are going a lot of directions at once. I’ve put it out to my sergeants and line staff to just slowdown in what we are doing. When we get to a call, lets slow down and look at the situation a little closer and talk to the people a little longer. Let’s take a little more time to document. Let’s not be in a hurry to get back into the whirlwind. Let’s finish our investigations so we have good work. Quantity of work means nothing if it doesn’t amount to a prosecution.”
The new sheriff has an open door policy but citizens need to realize that he may – at times – be unavailable if earlier commitments have been made. “I hope that you use my personnel in getting questions to your answers. My administration will have an open door.”
He asks that the public be patient with the upcoming changes. “I can’t make the changes that are going to happen, overnight. Just because it isn’t in the newspaper, doesn’t mean that it is not happening.”
Adams has Undersheriff Bill Ferguson serving with him. Ferguson has been serving Mineral County for the past decade. His undersheriff comes with extensive background that will help the department including the following training: First Line Supervisor; Grievance; FBI Sex Trafficking; Washoe County K9; Basic Sex Crime investigation; Desert Snow Drug interdiction; Taser International instructor; Makor K9; Controlled Force Level I instructor and much more.
Many know Ferguson when he was with Bella, Mineral County K9, before taking employment with Nevada Highway Patrol. Adams describes the undersheriff as, “One of the most successful narcotics officers in Mineral County – probably in the history of the county. He continued that record as a K9 officer with the NHP and was later promoted to sergeant.”
The medal of honor winner in 2006, Ferguson has many other awards, citations and accommodations in his jacket.
Adams picked him because of his vast knowledge and experience within Mineral County and law enforcement including his supervisor experience within a large agency.
“He has all the tools to be an administrator but still has the mindset of a patrolman and he wants to be here. He took a cut in pay so he could work for the citizens of Mineral County.”
The sheriff did meet with the Board of County Commissioners to negotiate a salary for his number two man, but clearly points out that Ferguson is in no way the highest paid undersheriff in the history of Mineral County.
“This is his home,” Adams states.
“Ferguson wants to share his knowledge with the deputies of Mineral County. Give us time. You will see the results that he can give the county.”
Only a month into his administration, Adams has a clear vision for Mineral County, his department and his newly elected position.