Sheriff Brad Pope of Lyon County Sheriff’s Office – Nevada wrote: Message of the Week 04/14/2023
There are numeRous questions, concerns, comments and personal interpretations in regards to the joint statement between the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Lyon County School District that was released on 04/12/2023.
It is my position and I firmly believe that the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is here to enforce the laws set forth by Nevada Revised Statute. Lyon County Schools are not immunity zones where laws do not apply, and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is taking an aggressive approach to crime committed throughout the County, and that includes in the schools.
I would like to utilize this message of the week to address some frequent areas of concern that have arisen since the release was made. Below are examples of frequent questions asked regarding the release:
Q: One of the first questions regarding the release was, “Why now?” “Why wasn’t this done sooner?”
A: I took over as the Lyon County Sheriff on January 3rd, 2023. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office began its restructure immediately, placing the Command Staff in the different areas or communities within Lyon County. The School Resource Officers now have a Commander they report to in their area, as opposed to reporting to a Captain who was 50 Miles away, in a hallway. The area Commanders are also involved in the communities they serve and have been approached by a multitude of parents who spoke of criminal behavior within the Lyon County Schools. This led to an evaluation and adjustments of our School Resource Officers and responding Deputies directive when dealing with issues that arise at the schools.
This also led to repairing the relationship between the Lyon County School District and the Sheriff’s Office. Communication coming from the Sheriff’s Office to the School District had been nearly nonexistent in the past.
Q: So you’re going to ignore my kid’s constitutional rights and arrest them for anything?
A: Absolutely not, like any other criminal investigation the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office conducts, it will be done so within the parameters of the Constitution with your children’s rights at the forefront.
Q: Does this apply to self-defense? “So if my kid defends themselves they are going to be arrested?”
A: When conducting a criminal investigation, self-defense is always considered. Self-defense is permitted if the non-aggressor reasonably believes he/she – or someone else – is in imminent danger of bodily harm. Furthermore, the non-aggressor must use no more physical force than necessary to defend himself/herself or another person.
Q: “Can they simply slap an “unlawful assembly” on my kids for hanging out somewhere on school grounds? What about “disturbance”?! Are you just trying to put children in Juvie here?”
A: Unlawful Assembly is: If two or more persons assemble for the purpose of disturbing the public peace, or committing any unlawful act, and do not disperse, on being desired or commanded so to do by a judge, justice of the peace, sheriff, coroner, constable or other public officer, the persons so offending are guilty of a misdemeanor.
“Hanging out” is not our crime, nor is it our target.
Breach of peace is: Every person who shall maliciously and willfully disturb the peace or quiet of any r person by loud or unusual noises, or by tumultuous and offensive conduct, threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
No we are not looking to put kids in “Juvie”. Our goal is provide a safe, crime free environment so the students who want to be there and learn have the ability to do so without interruption.
The Lyon County School District is on board, and is partnering with the Sheriff’s Office. They have their own discipline process for acts that do constitute a crime, and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office respects that process.
I have received numerous messages from parents, teachers, administrators and school personnel stating they support the Sheriff’s Office in this change of mind set. I am encouraged by those messages and I know the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is doing the right thing by holding those who choose to commit crimes accountable for their actions.
Sheriff Brad Pope