Commission Directory

Troy Tanner
Commission Chairman

Chief Tanner, a native to southern Nevada, started out his career as a corrections officer and has served in every area of the police department during his 23-year career. He has advanced from patrol officer to K-9 officer, patrol sergeant, administrative sergeant, detective sergeant, and lieutenant before becoming Chief of Police in May 2011. As a lieutenant, Chief Tanner had under his command the detective division, SWAT, school resource officers, office of public information, and the K-9 and motor divisions. While serving as a sergeant, Chief Tanner was recruited to work after hours as a TAC Instructor by the founder of the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy. Between 1997 and 2001 he instructed over 250 police/peace officer recruits and developed and implemented policies, procedures, and community policing scenario training for recruits that are still in use today. It was also during this time that the Drug Enforcement Administration recognized then Sgt. Tanner for “Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Drug Law Enforcement.” In July 2013, Governor Sandoval appointed Chief Tanner to serve as a Commissioner on the Nevada Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission.  Before this appointment, Chief Tanner had previously worked with the commission as he assisted in the conversion of the POST Academy courses into 30 college credits and developed the first community orientated policing training in the State. Chief Tanner is a past president and member of the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association (NvSCA.).  Chief Tanner continues to represent the NvSCA as the Nevada member of the State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP), a division which falls under the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Tanner is a graduate of the 236th session of the FBI National Academy and possesses an Executive Certificate issued by the Nevada Peace Officers' Standards and Training Commission. Chief Tanner received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University. 

James Wright
Commissioner

Director Wright has a unique and diversified public safety background. His 38 year career includes experience in law enforcement, fire protection, emergency management, homeland security, and emergency medical services. Given that the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a multi-discipline organization his experience has served it well. Before his appointment as Director, he served two years as the DPS Deputy Director and prior to that served as the Interim Chief of the Nevada Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Wright began his career with DPS in 2006 serving as the State Fire Marshal for 5 years. Prior to coming to Nevada, Wright enjoyed a lengthy and successful career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) where he retired as the Deputy Director for Fire Protection. Beginning as a firefighter he rose through the ranks and held various positions within the organization. He became a California sworn peace officer early on in his career with the department and served as a fire prevention/law enforcement patrol officer for Indian Lands in southern California. Wright also served as an arson investigator and was appointed to the statewide Arson Investigation Unit (AIU). After promoting to the Fire Chief Officer ranks he continued with supervising and managing Department law enforcement programs. Other interesting assignments included being an Incident Commander of a CDF Major Incident Command Team and other prestigious fire protection command level positions. Wright served the majority of his career with CDF in Southern California and achieved the rank of State Unit Chief/County Fire Chief in Riverside County where he managed the fourth largest fire protection agency in California. He also played a key cooperative role in establishing the joint Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Because of Wright’s multi-disciplined experience and organizational leadership abilities he was eventually recruited to CDF’s Sacramento Headquarters where he served and managed the various statewide fire and law enforcement programs. Wright holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration and an Associate’s degree in Administration of Justice.

Michele Freeman
Commissioner

Michele Freeman presently serves as Chief for the City of Las Vegas Department of Detention & Enforcement.  Her law enforcement career began at the City of Las Vegas over 21 years ago when she accepted the position of Corrections Officer.  She was promoted through the ranks serving as Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and a privileged member of the department’s Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) prior to being named Deputy Chief in 2006.  Michele was appointed Acting Chief in January 2011 and transitioned into her current role as Chief in June 2011. She is leading 337 civilian and Category I, II and III sworn employees as well as providing fiscal management of the department’s $63 million dollar budget.  Chief Freeman is a Certified Jail Manager, one of only 7 in the State of Nevada.  She has effectuated a number of noteworthy changes during her tenure, taking exceptional pride in her perseverance and completion in revising several policies and documentation practices, focusing on the most critical areas in law enforcement.  Her expertise and knowledge allowed for the creation and management of detailed staffing plans which led to maximizing personnel resources as well as the development and implementation of a reliable, valid, and credible Field Training Program for the City of Las Vegas Corrections Officers.  Chief Freeman is a graduate of the 249th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.  This is a prestigious and rare distinction as participation is by invitation only and annually just eight Nevada law enforcement leaders are afforded the opportunity. Education and training are two of Michele’s great passions.  She leads by example in her commitment to developing the work force, consistently educating herself and seeking opportunities to improve.  She is a graduate of the 206th class of the renowned Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, a Master’s Certificate in Public Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a strong emphasis in Sociology and Psychology, and an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts.  She is the recipient of both Management and Executive Certifications from the Nevada State Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T) which is the highest certifications awarded to sworn personnel.

 

James Ketsaa
Commissioner

Chief James R. Ketsaa has over 36 years of law enforcement/public safety experience.  Ketsaa began his career as a professional firefighter/EMT and Police Officer in the State of New York.  He began his service with the Clark County School District Police Department in 1991 as a campus police officer, and he was appointed Chief of Police in 2012.  Prior to assuming the role of Chief of Police, Ketsaa served as a campus police officer, patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and deputy chief. Since being appointed Chief of Police, Ketsaa has been at the forefront of fostering a change in the department’s culture which now embraces professionalism, accountability, and transparency.   Under his watch, the department has employed body cameras and Tasers, implemented a motorcycle unit, provided supervisors with datacasting capabilities and expanded the department’s community outreach/youth engagement events.  Chief Ketsaa has earned numerous awards and commendations.  He has completed hundreds of hours of police and public safety training and has earned a Nevada POST Executive Certification.  He has participated in a variety of law enforcement community events including the Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Run.  He is a strong advocate for community supported events including safety fairs, safety forums, and the Nevada Special Olympics.  Chief Ketsaa is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Nevada Chiefs and Sheriffs Association and is on the advisory board of the National School Safety Advisory Council. The CCSDPD provides law enforcement services to the Clark County School District (CCSD) which is the fifth-largest school district in the United States. The Department provides law enforcement services to approximately 320,000 students and 40,000 employees.  The CCSDPD jurisdiction covers 7,910 square miles and includes all of Clark County, Nevada, including the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Mesquite; as well as all outlying communities and rural areas.     

 

Kevin McKinney
Commissioner
Lt. Kevin McKinney started his career in law enforcement in 1988 in Idaho, working for the Homedale, Police Department and the Nampa Police Department.   Lt. McKinney moved to Nevada and began working with the Elko County Sheriff’s Office in 1999. Lt. McKinney is currently the Operations Division Lieutenant and has held positions as a Patrol Deputy, a Detective, a Detective Sergeant, the Detention Division Lieutenant and as the Interim Undersheriff with the Sheriff’s Office. Lt. McKinney has instructed various trainings in the areas of Criminal Investigations, Sexual Assault Investigations Child Abuse Investigations, and Interview and Interrogation. Lt. McKinney graduated from the 261st Session of the FBI National Academy in 2015 and is currently working on obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
Mike Allen
Commissioner

Sheriff Allen is a sixth-generation Winnemuccan, born and raised in Humboldt County and a 1981 graduate of Albert Lowry High School.

Sheriff Allen’s career in law enforcement started in 1983 when he became the first cadet with the Winnemucca Police Department. Sheriff Allen served as a police officer with the local Police Department for six years before transferring to Elko, Nevada, to work as an investigator at NDI (Nevada Division of Investigations).

Sheriff Allen served as a criminal investigator, where he worked to effectively investigate and apprehend dangerous criminals throughout the Northern Nevada region. In 1993, Sheriff Allen’s leadership and administrative skills landed him a promotion as Lieutenant and commander of a multi-agency Humboldt-Pershing Narcotics Unit. This promotion allowed Sheriff Allen the ability to return to his hometown of Winnemucca.

While the commander of the Humboldt-Pershing Narcotics Unit, Allen worked to improve the reputation of the unit. Sheriff Allen worked hard and developed both a training and professional standards plan and a foundation for effective policing. Allen’s work and implementation of creditable and effective law enforcement practices became a model for other law enforcement agencies across the state.

In 2000, Allen accepted a transfer to the state headquarters of the Nevada Division of Investigation in Carson City, Nevada. Allen led a number of large, statewide task forces and criminal investigation units. Allen has 13 years of experience in the area of law enforcement leadership, which includes: Narcotics, undercover operations, search warrants, criminal interdiction, writing and administration of grants, personnel management, internal affairs and budgeting practices.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedies, Allen was chosen by top law enforcement officials to head up the Nevada State Special Investigation Unit which focused on organized crime and terrorism. Allen served as the Director of the Nevada Threat Analysis Center until 2010. As Director, Allen proved to be an effective liaison between all of the state’s 17 counties. Allen was also one of the top antiterrorism law enforcement officers in the state, where he served as the administrator for the agency, responsible for collecting intelligence and mitigating potential threats to the citizens of Nevada. Allen effectively created, managed and balanced multimillion dollar budgets each of his years as the Director of the center. Allen became a valued leader among not only law enforcement professionals, but also leaders of state, local and national EMS, fire, tribal, National Guard and emergency management agencies through the development of effective partnerships.

With over 20 years of effective leadership, management and supervisory experience, Allen saw a great opportunity to bring his background, education and experience back to his hometown of Winnemucca. Allen returned to his hometown where he has served as Sheriff since January 2015.

Allen brings fresh ideas and a vision to improve the culture and efficiencies of the local Sheriff’s Office. Allen’s focus for the Office will be to improve training and career development for all employees, institute cost-effective prudent budgeting practices, enhance the scope of protection and services provided by the office, protect liberty and justice and bring about a culture that values, above all, community-based policing and community involvement.

 

 

John McGrath
Commissioner
Deputy Chief McGrath is a twenty six year police veteran with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  He is currently assigned as the Deputy Chief of the Professional Standards Division, which includes the police academy and all facets of training within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Deputy Chief McGrath was the Bureau Commander over the Office of Internal Oversight and Constitutional Policing, Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Internal Affairs Bureau, and within the Patrol Division at Northwest Area Command. His previous assignments include the Gang Crimes Bureau, Auto Theft Task Force, Property Crimes, and Field Training.  Deputy Chief McGrath graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts. 
Jason Soto
Commissioner

Police Chief Jason Soto began his career with the Reno Police Department in 1997. Chief Soto has worked a variety of assignments to include the Patrol Division, Horse Mounted Unit, Police Training Officer, Background Investigator, and Chief Polygraph Examiner. Chief Soto is the former President of the Reno Police Protective Association where he became nationally recognized in collective bargaining, police officer rights, and discipline and working conditions. He is also recognized for his training and seminars on labor management topics.

Chief Soto has a strong belief in community interaction and has donated hundreds of hours to local charities including the Special Olympics, Mom’s on the Run, and the American Cancer Society.

Chief Soto comes from a family dedicated to law enforcement and has proudly lived in the Reno area since 1978.

Chief Soto has a degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working toward a second degree in Public Administration.

Ben Reed
Commissioner

 

Elko Police Chief Ben Reed became the Chief of the Elko, Nevada Police Department in October 2013.  He has over 36 years’ experience working in all facets of municipal law enforcement including Administration, Field Operations, and Detectives.  He has extensive training and field experience in leadership, incident command, emergency management, community oriented policing, field supervision and personnel management.

Chief Reed started his law enforcement career in 1979 as a Police Cadet with the Redding, CA Police Department.  He worked as a Deputy Sheriff for the Shasta County, CA Sheriff’s Office in 1980, assigned to the Boating Safety Unit at Lake Shasta.  He worked as a Police Officer for the Woodland, CA Police Department from 1980 to 1985.  He then spent the remaining 26 years working for the Redding, CA Police Department from 1985 to 2010 holding the ranks of police officer, investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. As a Police Captain, he commanded the Administrative Services Division for four years, until he retired in 2010.  He holds an Associate in Arts degree in the Administration of Justice and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration. He graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute in 1994 and the F.B.I. National Academy, Session 221, in Quantico, Virginia in 2005. 

Chief Reed has supervised or commanded various specialized units to include patrol operations, property crimes detectives, major crimes detectives, drug and narcotics task force, computer crimes task force, records, property and evidence, training, personnel and promotions, motor vehicle fleet, defensive tactics, honor guard, police canines, police explorers, anti-terrorism investigations, police cadets, and emergency services.

Chief Reed is involved in many community, regional, and national organizations: the Western Folklife Center (Elko, NV), the Great Basin Elks Lodge, the Operations Board of the Elko Central Dispatch Authority, the Northeastern Nevada Museum, the Rotary Club of Elko, the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association, the FBI National Academy Associates, the Nevada Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  In addition, he is the Chairman of the Community Foundation of Elko County, and the Chairman of the Elko County Enhanced 911 Advisory Board.

His ongoing goals are to provide strong ethical leadership, utilize community oriented policing techniques, provide modern police management, institute nationally recognized best practices, and provide a high level of law enforcement service to the citizens and visitors of Elko and the overall law enforcement community of Nevada.