Flag pole christened, deputies honored

Wheeler Cowperthwaite / Nevada Appeal

Wheeler Cowperthwaite / Nevada Appeal

The American flag rushed up its newly-christened pole in front of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office Wednesday morning.

The ceremony, administered by the sheriff’s honor guard, also was to honor three deputies who saved two lives and the promotion of the newest sergeant.

Deputy John Hitch was the first to be awarded the life-saving medal after he performed CPR and saved a life while he was on a call.

Deputies Matt Putzer and Chris Ramos received their medals after they saved the life of a man having a heart attack at a bowling alley, while both were off duty. Putzer was further recognized for visiting the man in the hospital as he recovered.

“Moments count,” in life-or-death situations, Sheriff Ken Furlong said. “You better know what you’re doing ... I’m very proud of all of them.”

The act showed that the two are always on duty, to protect, but also that they care, according to the award memorandum.


Bill Richards is known in the sheriff’s office for being gruff, for his abrasive nature. Furlong said he was “grumpy” but qualified his statement, calling him one of the best representatives of the sheriff’s office. Although Richard may be a bit of a grouch in the sheriff’s office, he is incredibly respectful and caring to the public he serves, Furlong said.

Tessa Richards, who pinned the sergeant’s badge on her father, said it was nerve-wracking.

“But it was kind of awesome,” she said. “He deserved it.”

Richards has been in law enforcement for 24 years come September. He started at the Carson City Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 15, 1999.

“It’s a whole new chapter in my career,” he said. “It’ll be a bit of a culture shock, but I’m ready.”

Richards will be maneuvering side of the jail instead of astride his motorcycle.

“He was an obvious selection,” for sergeant, Furlong said, citing Richards’ experience as a field training officer and his work in various other departments.


Sgt. Brian Mays spearheaded the effort to establish the flag pole and its accompanying pavers, which will be inscribed with the names of the four Carson City peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Each paver will be about three feet tall, he said.

Mays has been working on the project since last September after it didn’t happen for the past two to three.

“I held people accountable” to make the project come to its high-flying glory, he said.

The project is being paid for by the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and the second part of the area has been delayed for the next fiscal year.

Anyone interested in donating a paver can contact the sergeant at 775-887-2020, ext. 41600.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, he said.


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