*This is the fourth in a series of interviews of the candidates for Washoe County Sheriff.


Darin Balaam currently serves as an adjunct professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College, teaching various criminal justice courses in which he shares the insight, wisdom, and expertise he accrued during his more than 20 years of service in the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.


Barin began his career as a property clerk assigned to the Washoe County Detention Facility in 1993. From 1994 onward, he served as a Deputy Sheriff, working in Sheriff’s Office Operations, Administration, and Detention Bureau, earning all ranks up to that of Chief Deputy of the Operations Bureau. During his career, he was honored to have commanded the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Hostage Negotiations Team, Detention Response Team, K9 Unit, Motors Unit, Search and Rescue, RAVEN (Aviation Unit), Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center and Regional Bomb Squad.

During his tenure in Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Balaam developed unique strategies to address regional crime issues within Washoe County. They include the development of the Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center, the Regional Tactical Crime Analysis Report, and the Area Crime Evaluation System. These strategies, and others, while being forward-thinking solutions to the area’s crime conditions, demonstrated rigorous fiscal responsibility by remaining well within their assigned budget constraints.


Balaam attended the University of Nevada Reno, graduating in 2011 with a BS in Criminal Justice. In 2015, he earned his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration at the University of Louisville. Additionally, he is a 2006 graduate of the FBI’s Southwest Command College, and completed the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officer’s Course in 2012. He also is a graduate of Leadership Reno-Sparks program in 2014.

Community Involvement:

Over the course of his career, Balaam has received several appointments to statewide law-enforcement leadership positions:
• Nevada Crime Commission – appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2014.
• Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) – appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2013.
• Technological Crime Advisory Board ¬– appointed by in 2012.
• Domestic Violence Fatality Review Statewide Team ¬– appointed by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in 2013.

Community Organizations:

• KNPB Chair of Citizen Advisory Board
• Join Together Northern Nevada’s Board Member
• The Chamber NV Executive Committee Member Leadership Reno-Sparks
• Northern Nevada Children’s Cabinet’s Art of Childhood Committee Member
• Health and Safety Commission Board Member (Washoe County School District)
• Regional Ambulance Service, Inc. “RASI” Board Member


Balaam is a 5th generation Nevadan and a Sparks native, currently residing there with his four children and wife of twenty years. Boxx has lived in the Reno-Sparks area for the past 54 years where he attended Sparks schools and graduating from Sparks High School.

Darin Balaam