Our Heroes

This site is dedicated to the Washoe County Sheriff Deputies that gave their all
in the line of duty. You are not forgotten…

Deputy Sheriff Harry Ward Swaney

Swaney-HarryEnd of Watch: Monday, August 12, 1935

Deputy Sheriff Harry Swaney succumbed to injuries sustained eight days earlier when he was involved in an automobile accident on South Valley Road while on traffic duty.

Deputy Swaney was survived by his wife.

Deputy Sheriff Earl Griffith

Griffith-EarlEnd of Watch: Thursday, May 1, 1947

Deputy Griffith was shot and killed when he and his partner stopped to investigate a parked car on the Purdy Highway, just over the California – Nevada border.

The deputies were investigating the incident after a series of robberies. Deputy Griffith was shot when he ordered one of the juveniles out the car while his partner searched the second juvenile. His partner was also wounded in the shootout. The two suspects then fled the scene but were apprehended a short time later.

The suspect who killed Deputy Griffith was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in Folsom Prison. On October 11, 1949, he stabbed a fellow inmate to death. He was convicted of first degree murder and executed in the gas chamber on February 8, 1957.

Deputy Sheriff Franklin Jay Minnie, Sr.

Minnie-FrankEnd of Watch: Sunday, June 1, 1997

Deputy Minnie was killed in an accident as he was pursuing a trespassing suspect. As Deputy Minnie was passing a tractor trailer, a piece of debris struck his motorcycle, causing him to lose control when he struck the median.

Deputy Sheriff John Nicholas Wiberg, II

Wiberg-JohnEnd of Watch: Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Deputy Wiberg was killed in an automobile accident while responding to an armed robbery call at a casino in Lemon Valley at 0200 hours.

He was responding on U.S. 395 when his patrol car went out of control on the wet pavement. The patrol car crossed into oncoming lanes and collided with another vehicle. Deputy Wiberg was extricated from the wreckage and transported to the Washoe Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Deputy Wiberg had served with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years. During his tour with the agency, he had received the agency’s Lifesaving Award and Bronze Star. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office recognizes exceptional service from its Deputies bi-annually during the Sheriff’s Office Medal Awards Ceremony. To see a list of the awards and their descriptions, please click here.

The most recent Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremony was held January 25th at the Washoe County Chambers located at 9th and Wells. Below is a list of the awards received during the ceremony.

Lifesaving Medal
  • Deputy John Edwards
  • Deputy Heather Hobbesiefken (2)
  • Deputy James McNeil
  • Deputy Kelle Seely
  Bronze Star
  • Deputy Erik Wallitner

Meritorious Service Medal
  • Reserve Lieutenant Teresa Aquila
  • Sergeant Kevin Eikleberry
  • Auxiliary Deputy Jeff Booth
  • Auxiliary Deputy Charles Morton
  • Auxiliary Deputy Travis Osterhout
  • Auxiliary Deputy Dan Schwedhelm
            Distinguished Service Medal
  • Deputy Douglas Russell
  • Deputy Edward Larry Lodge
  • Deputy Joseph Baumann
  • Deputy Maurice Bessiere
  • Deputy George Rutter

Letters of Commendation
  • Carson City Sheriff's Office
  • El Dorado County Sheriff's Office
  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office
  • Placer County Sheriff's Office
  • Mt. Rose Ski Patrol
  • North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District
  Vincent Swinney Award
  • Auxiliary Deputy Lynn Macaulay
  • Auxiliary Deputy Bill Macualay
  • Auxiliary Deputy Rangal Yorks

Washoe County Sheriff's Office:
  • Search and Rescue
  • SVU
  • K-9
  • Deputy Travis Bailey
  • Deputy Andrew Barrett-Venn
  • Deputy Miguel Diaz
  • Deputy John Nemeth
  • Deputy Ned Nemeth

Special Thanks to Mike Goo for photos and continued support of
Washoe County Sheriff Deputies in all that they do…

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Washoe County Sheriff Deputies Association
3710 Grant Drive
Suite A
Reno, NV 89509

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