Information Updated March 6, 2006
(Adult Probation/Parole only)

Juvenile Probation

District juvenile courts, within the judicial branch of state government, administer juvenile probation services. The state assists probation departments through a variety of state and federal pass-through grants. There are 11 probation departments in 9 judicial districts throughout the state. Two Districts have two departments, which accounts for the difference.

The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, a cabinet-level commission that reports directly to the Governor, certifies probation officers. Certification is a requirement for employment.

It is a local decision as to whether a juvenile probation officer carries a firearm. They are classified as category II peace officers and do have the power to arrest in the performance of their duties.

Several counties allow officers to carry and in one county it is mandatory to carry a firearm. Elko County, the 4th Judicial District is very large geographically; the officers in this district are spread out and are often times alone, isolated, and many miles from the nearest communication or back-up support. Elko County felt it was important that the officers were armed.

In Clark County no officers carry a firearm. Statute allows officers to carry a firearm, but local policy can say they may not carry.

At the time of the survey, it was not under consideration to allow them to carry a firearm.

There are no private companies providing juvenile supervision services.

Juvenile Parole

Within the Executive Branch of state government, Youth Corrections, Division of Child and Family Services in the Department of Human Resources, youth parole counselors of the Nevada Youth Parole Bureau provide parole supervision for youth leaving state correctional facilities.

Youth parole counselors do not carry a firearm. They are classified as peace officers and do have the power to arrest in the performance of their duties as a youth parole counselor.

There is a Parole Bureau policy that prohibits officers from carrying a firearm.

From time to time the issue of carrying a firearm is brought up.

No private companies provide supervision services for youths on parole.

Adult Probation and Parole

The Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) is composed of ten divisions. With approximately 250 sworn staff, the Division of Parole and Probation (NPP) is second only to the Highway Patrol division in overall size. Additionally, NPP is one of five DPS divisions whose sworn personnel are classified as State Peace Officers and required to carry firearms in the performance of their official duties. Other DPS divisions with this responsibility and authority include Capitol Police, Fire Marshal, Highway Patrol, and Investigations.

Although respective divisions retain their statutory identity (Trooper, Investigator or Parole and Probation Officer), all new hires are classified as DPS officers, or, primarily through promotion, assigned a military rank (sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and colonel). Prior to being hired, all officers must pass psychological and physical testing, a comprehensive background investigation, a medical examination, and a polygraph examination.

All DPS officers are required to attend the four month DPS Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. Subsequent annual training requirements include eight hours of defensive tactics and four hours of firearms training each quarter, with semi-annual firearms qualification.

NPP currently issues a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun to its officers. The DPS issued ammunition is the Winchester, 40 Smith & Wesson, 180 grain SXT (full metal jacket). Additionally, officers have the option, within the limits of DPS policy, of carrying a personally owned firearm. NPP is in the process of issuing shotguns to some of its specialized units such as the fugitive apprehension teams and the gang units. Issuing long-rifles to some of the rural areas is under consideration.

In terms of general duties, NPP provides presentence investigations for all offenders convicted as an adult of felony or gross misdemeanor offenses. Probation services are provided for all offenders receiving a deferred or suspended sentence. Adult parole supervision services are provided for inmates released on a grant of Parole by the Board of Parole Commissioners or released on a House Arrest Program through the Department of Correction’s community programs. It is also noted that NPP executes its own extraditions of fugitive offenders.

Finally, NPP provides manpower to the other divisions during homeland security assignments, in supplementing the Highway Patrol’s traffic enforcement during critical events, and offers sworn personnel for the Governor’s protective detail. A recent example of such specialized utilization was NPP’s participation in law enforcement duties during a Nevada DPS deployment to Mississippi in response to the Katrina disaster.

For updates or corrections to the information on this page, please contact: Diane Kincaid