After 30 years with the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Dan Watts
made an announcement of his decision to resign. He said “the main focus of my law enforcement career has been serving the people of White Pine County, however, after many hours of consideration, my decision is final.”
Watts has accepted another position with the Shoshone Tribe as their Chief of Police. Watts signed into a four year contract with the tribe.
He will be the chief over all law enforcement for tribal land in the Shoshone area. Watts said he had many sleepless nights trying to decide if this was something he wanted to do but there were many contributing factors, including financial ones that made this decision right for him and his family.
“I wouldn’t have had this opportunity in a year”, Watts said.
Watts was raised in Overton, but fell i love with White Pine County when he became a Sheriff’s Deputy in 1987.
He was later elected as the White Pine County Sheriff in 2007. Watts was just re-elected as sheriff in 2014, his term would have been up in 2018.
Watts graduated from the National Sheriff’s Institute, the Rural Executive Management Institute from the University of Kansas and was appointed by Gov. Sandoval to serve as a commissioner for the Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training.
During his 30-year tenure with the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department, Watts made substantial changes to the White Pine County jail facility, so that it met National Jail Standards.
He was also very involved in working on a jail expansion to the county jail. He served as executive for the Eastern Nevada Task Force and assisted in substantial narcotic seizures. He testified before the Nevada State Legislature to maintain funding for the force.
And in the middle of his career with the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department, he found time to serve as a coach for middle school wrestling and football as well as high school football for more than 20 years.
When asked what memories he will leave with in regards to any special cases, Watts said “the Heather Lewis case, that one still haunts me, it remains unsolved. I never want to see that one let go”.
In his resignation letter, Watts thanked all of the deputies, dispatchers, staff members, family, friends and supporters. And, he thanked the residents of White Pine County.
“Please accept my sincere appreciation and gratitude for giving me the opportunity to serve you as your Sheriff,” he wrote.