“He puts the safety and security of Washoe County families first, this is what we need in a sheriff and I proudly support Darin Balaam for Washoe County.”

– Mike Haley, Former Sheriff, Washoe County



Raised in a respected law enforcement family–his father, Dennis Balaam, served as Washoe County Sheriff from 2000 to 2007. Darin has distinguished himself as a selfless public servant who delivers results that have improved our public safety. Darin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. During former Assistant Sheriff Darin Balaam’s over 20-year career, he has led the following:

  • Special Weapons & Tactics Team (SWAT)
  • Detention Response Team (DRT)
  • Hostage Negotiation Team
  • Regional Bomb Squad
  • Search & Rescue
  • K9 Unit
  • Detectives Unit


You may recognize Darin’s name because his father, Dennis Balaam, served as Sheriff of Washoe County from 2000-2007.  It was a great honor and privilege to watch his dad lead, and that’s one of the reasons why he’s continuing that tradition, and running for Washoe County Sheriff.

Darin plans to meet with people in the community and listen to their needs throughout his campaign.  At the end of the day, he wants to make a difference and make this community safe for all families.

Before running for Washoe County Sheriff, Darin dedicated himself to protecting and serving his community.  Prior to his retirement, Balaam held many positions with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office from Property Clerk all the way to an Assistant Sheriff over the Operations Bureau.  

Darin is a fifth generation Nevadan and a Sparks native, where he currently resides with his four children and wife of over twenty years.  He and his wife Heather met at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office where they began their careers as Deputy Sheriffs.  They both come from a strong line of police officers; their fathers retired from the Sheriff’s Office with over 30 plus years of experience. Both parents instilled in them at an early age the importance of having a safe community and always treating others the way you would like to be treated. They say it takes a village to raise children, but it takes each one of us to prosper a great community.



Washoe County’s future depends on how well we address our most critical challenges. As Sheriff, Darin will work with key community partners to implement a strategic, four-pillar platform that will empower the greater good through efficiency, compassion, and strength.


In 2017, the Washoe County Detention Facility housed an average of 1,087 inmates. A significant number of them were in need of mental health services. Effective mental health treatment reduces repeat offenses, improves lives and saves money.

Darin’s top priorities on the day he takes office are going to be:

  • Expand Medical Assessment Programs to ensure inmate needs are accurately identified.
  • Identify best outside resources & coordinate for treatment logistics.
  • Create a transport system for “soft hand-offs” upon inmate release.
  • Divert those suffering from mental illness into proven specialty-court programs.


In 2016, 2,030 juveniles witnessed domestic violence in Washoe County.  Research has shown juveniles that witness domestic violence are three times more likely to repeat this violence themselves in adulthood. Domestic violence calls generally account for up to 50% of all calls for law-enforcement services.

Darin will take bold, informed action to curtail domestic violence and will focus on the following points.

  • Evidence-based programs that hold offenders accountable for their actions.
  • Partnerships with government agencies, the legal system and community services to implementdomestic violence prevention strategies.
  • Expand regional victim advocacy programs.


In today’s technology-fueled world, our seniors are often overlooked and left vulnerable to complex scams, and dangers that exist in our society. Darin will focus on protecting seniors, doing more to educate and protect them from the predators.

  • Make seniors a priority by rooting out cybercrime.
  • Educational programs to help seniors avoid abuse and victimization.
  • Region-wide senior safety initiatives that connect seniors to a safety net of services.


Washoe County has quickly gained national attention as one of the most sought-after destinations for small businesses, as well as international corporations. We need to be prepared for Washoe County’s continuing population growth. Darin is committed to implementing community-oriented policing strategies to help those who need it most.

  • Develop a strong partnership with faith-based communities and non-governmental organizations to identify best practices in addressing community issues.
  • Integrate law enforcement and citizen efforts in problem solving, centered on identifying effective strategies to address the causes of crime and disorder.
  • Expanding educational programs for at-risk youth.


Marsha Berkbigler
Washoe County Commissioner

Bob Lucey
Washoe County Commissioner

Vaughn Hartung
Washoe County Commissioner

Geno Martini
Sparks Mayor

Ron Smith
Sparks City Council Member

Neoma Jardon
Reno City Council Member

David Bobzien
Reno City Council Member

Teresa Benitez-Thompson

Jill Tolles

Skip Daly

Bob Cashell
Former Reno Mayor

Dick Gammick
Retired WC District Attorney

Mike Haley
Retired WCSO Sheriff

Steve Pitts
Retired RPD Chief of Police

Jim Weston
Retired RPD Chief Deputy

Dan Coppa
Retired WCSO Undersheriff

Anthony Miranda
Retired WCSO Chief Deputy

Rod Williams
Retired WCSO Chief Deputy

Lee Bergevin
Retired WCSO Chief Deputy

Ray Wright
Retired WCSO Chief Deputy

Steve Asher
Retired SPD Chief of Police

Dennis Osborne
Retired Colonel NHP

Brian Sanchez
Retired Lt. Colonel NHP

Mike Whan
Retired RPD Deputy Chief

Tom Robinson
Retired RPD Chief Deputy

Jon Catalano
Retired Deputy Chief RPD

Lee Leighton
Retired SFD Chief

Tim Leighton
Retired TMFPD

Andy Flock
Retired SFD Chief

Chris Perry
Retired Director of Nevada Department of Public Safety

Cherie Williams
Chief Executive Officer Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors

Associated General Contractors

Laborer’s International Union of North America Local 169 Pac Non-Interest

Operating Engineer’s Local Union Number 3

Plumbers and Pipe fitters Local 350



Please make checks payable to Friends of Darin Balaam and mail to:

5245 VISTA BLVD, STE F3-117
SPARKS, NV 89436

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