Sparks Municipal Court Administrative Judge Barbara McCarthy took center stage with Allen as he was sworn in before an audience filled with local peace officers and plenty of Allen’s friends and family. Allen filled the shoes of recently retired Police Chief Steve Keefer on an interim basis before agreeing to an “initial expiration date” of December 31.
Allen was met with loud cheers as he introduced himself as Chief of Police for the first time in front of the City Council.
“The support of my family and everyone who is standing behind me today has been tremendous,” Allen said, thanking his wife of 19 years, his family and his ‘extended family’ on the police force. “This is just a testament to how strong families produce people we have out on patrol. With me it’s easy be with an organization like the Sparks Police Department. I have always been proud to be a Sparks Police officer.”
Allen began with the Sparks Police Department in 1991 as an officer where he handled roles like field training officer and department instructor. He was also a member of the SWAT team. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999, lieutenant in 2004, commander in 2008, deputy chief in 2011 and finally chief on Tuesday. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said Allen was a prime example of a great characteristic of the Sparks Police Department before asking Allen to “stick around for a while.”
“This is what is so great about the Sparks Police Department,” Martini said, “You can start as a police officer and work your way up to where you are now. We promote from within and I think it is just wonderful to see you become chief.”
After Allen shared a moment with his father, who pinned the Police Chief insignia to his uniform, as he did with his first-ever pin 22 years ago, he told the City Council of his excitement to take over as Police Chief in hopes of advancing the department further in the future.
“I chose this community to live in and to serve,” Allen said. “It is an honor to take this position. It is a privilege, and I understand it is a privilege, to make the decisions that I need to make for the department.
I look forward to serving the citizens of our great city and serving the men and women of the Sparks Police Department as their chief. I hope to move our organization forward and continue to work toward growth here in the state of Nevada.”
Allen has been in Sparks since 1976 and graduated from Reed High School in 1988. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1997.
A short recess allowed the fanfare to exit the Council Chambers, making way for the rest of Tuesday’s agenda. The Council unanimously approved to renew the city’s partnership with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) for the fiscal year of 2012-13. The membership came at a price of $32, 275 and allows a close partnership with the development entity for the remainder of its fiscal year.
The sprinkler system inside the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility received some aid from the Council as it approved a contract with Resource Development Company to provide and install a pressure-reducing valve on a reuse line inside the facility. The new component will keep high-pressure surges from damaging the fire sprinkler system and the contract totaled $36,300, a portion of which belongs to the City of Reno, leaving the City of Sparks to pay a little more than $11,000.