A Message from Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen:
In light of the events that took place in Dallas, Texas last evening, I would first and foremost want to offer on behalf of myself and the men and women of the Sparks Police our condolences and heartbreak for the families of the slain officers. We will continue to offer our support, thoughts and prayers to all of those in Dallas and our law enforcement family.
As I have watched the events unfold throughout the week in Louisiana and Minnesota, it brought me great concern. We have two incidents within twenty-four hours involving black males shot by law enforcement. I have watched the videos, I have watched the newscasts, and read many news articles regarding both of those incidents. What I haven’t seen, heard, or read is the final case investigation. Did those officers make the right decision or act in accordance with their state’s laws? I don’t know those answers, and quite frankly, most of us in America don’t know those answers. What I did see, hear and read is that a full investigation needs to take place to learn those specific facts in each of these incidents to determine the final outcome. With the incident in Baton Rouge, the Department of Justice has been brought in to conduct the investigation, in Minnesota, outside agencies are completing the investigation. For the sake of all involved, I hope there is a fair, thorough and complete investigation into both of these incidents. Prior to the conclusion of an investigation, we all, especially our community leaders, should be very careful about what we say or post as we do not know how it will impact others or cause others to act.
What we need now is patience. Patience to learn the true facts. Social Media has so much good, but it also can be taken advantage of and misused. Does that mean that community activists shouldn’t peaceably protest and speak their concerns? Absolutely not. They should, within the confines of our Constitution and laws that govern our land. That is what makes America great. But we also have to remember that for every opinion, there is most likely an opposite opinion. We have to remember how to communicate our opinions and allow others to do the same, hopefully coming to the point where can acknowledge the other’s perspective with respect. Thursday night in Dallas, with law enforcement support, a group of citizens wanted to express their opinions and rights. The Dallas Police Department and other agencies were there protecting the rights of citizens to voice their concerns, protecting them.
Tragically, a few individuals took advantage of this peaceful protest to willfully, purposefully and intentionally target and kill the very police that were there to protect the demonstration. Just like how we should not transfer the blame of a few officers’ actions across this country to all law enforcement, we should not transfer the blame of these individuals, to all of those involved in “Black Lives Matter” type groups or any other activist group trying to make change. This was the act of a few individuals, not all.
However, to compare the week’s earlier events to the events in Dallas is inappropriate. The act against the Dallas officers was a premeditated, ambush style attack based solely against law enforcement and specifically “white” officers as reported by Dallas Chief Brown. Though tragic (as the taking of any life is tragic) there is no evidence, at this time, to support the notion that the involved officers in Louisiana or Minnesota purposefully placed themselves in a position to shoot someone or premeditate a murder. Based on the suspects own admissions, according to Chief Brown, this was the suspect’s intent in Dallas. Thorough investigations will eventually provide clarity, and determine whether or not charges should be filed against the officers and/or the remaining suspects in Dallas.
What I do know is that there are approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies across this country and I have the honor to lead one of them. I can say that I am blessed to serve in a city like Sparks and a region like the Truckee Meadows. The Sparks Police along with Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County School District Police, University of Nevada-Reno Police, the Nevada Highway Patrol and others have worked tirelessly to develop great working relationships with our minority leaders and activist groups. Even yesterday, before the events in Dallas, I was invited and will participate along with Reno Police and other law enforcement, to an event on Sunday, to speak with community members about the events that took place earlier this week and how WE as a community can implement solutions to prevent similar incidents to occur here.
I am not ashamed to say that “ALL lives matter.” One of our core values state that we will respect the inherit worth of ALL. As a society, we should do the same. It shouldn’t depend on the color of your skin, your place in a social-economic status or the fact that you are in law enforcement. I know that I, and the members of the Sparks Police are committed to serving our community with Honor, Pride and Privilege.
I would like to end with this. Since this morning, the amount of community support for the Sparks Police and law enforcement is humbling. Community leaders, businesses, the news media, but most importantly our citizens have e-mailed, texted, posted, or called expressing their thoughts and prayers for those in Dallas and our local police. Our breakroom is full of food, cards and donations expressing our community’s thanks for our police.
Thank you and together we can make Sparks, Reno and the Truckee Meadows an even better community for future generations. God Bless the United States of America, the State of Nevada, and the City of Sparks.
On July 4, 2016 shortly after 2 p.m.., Sparks Police officers responded to the report of an attempted robbery with a knife at the Target store, 1550 E. Lincoln Way.
When officers arrived on scene, they learned that Target loss prevention personnel had attempted to stop a suspect who was pushing a cart full of merchandise out of an emergency exit. When loss prevention personnel attempted to stop the suspect, he brandished a knife toward the loss prevention staff and fled the store. He was believed to have fled north into the Park Vista Apartment complex located at 565 Sparks Blvd. The merchandise was retained.
Approximately two hours later, officers responded to K-Mart, 2125 Oddie Blvd. on a very similar call. A suspect had taken undetermined items and was leaving the store when he was approached by loss prevention staff. When loss prevention approached, the suspect brandished a knife and fled the area. He ran south toward the Landsdowne House apartment complex, 1215 Sullivan Lane.
Officers were able to obtain surveillance photographs of the suspect, and they are attached to this release. The suspect is described as a black male adult in his 30s. He was wearing a black t-shirt, goatee and dark sunglasses. He is further described as being about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build, and his left arm has multiple tattoos.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact Sparks Police Detectives at 353-2225, or Secret Witness at 322-4900.
Sparks Police Department is working an injury accident at the intersection of McCarran Blvd and Greg St. Westbound Greg at Spice Island is currently closed. Please avoid the area until further notice.