The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) has been understaffed since the beginning of the year and the office is trying to take some creative approaches to fill the gaps in the patrol, detention, and dispatch divisions. 

At the Humboldt County Commissioners meeting on March 6, command staff at the HCSO asked that the Commissioners approve a request to advertise with a billboard west of Winnemucca Boulevard, hitting travelers on both Interstate 80 and the U.S. 95 Corridor. All Commissioners were present and approved the request, which will likely cost the HCSO around $7,250 for the full year of advertising. 

“The hope is to get people to drive through there and here’s a billboard that says what we pay and that attracts people. People don’t realize that this is a well-paying agency and people don’t realize what the benefits are. At least this gets them to our website especially for lateral candidates because there are a lot of people who are leaving cities and laterals are a huge benefit to us. They  just don’t think to look at us so my hope is to generate some qualified applicants for the agency, “ explained HCSO Patrol Captain Sean Wilkin.  

Wilkin also said that the HCSO staff currently attend multiple career fairs at colleges and frequently try to recruit online, by word-of-mouth, and through many different avenues, but thus far, their efforts have not been successful in “ generating a high volume of qualified candidates.” 

According to the Sheriff’s Office website (, there are positions open as an Administrative Clerk IV, Administrative Clerk I, II, III, a Corrections Cook, a Central Patrol Operator, a Dispatcher and Dispatcher Trainee, a Deputy Sheriff at the Detention Center, and a Deputy Sheriff in the Patrol Division. 

Wilkin said in an email after the meeting that “The most common disqualification factors [for applicants] are drug use, poor employment history, prior arrests and / or convictions, negative credit history, and dishonesty in the background investigation process.”

“My goal of doing an outdoor billboard is for folks coming up here for recreational activities that are out here hunting, that are out here for outdoors and fishing, or visiting family and traveling through to see we’re a well-paying agency and that they recognized that. We have good benefits. This is a good county to work for, but [these people are] not necessarily on Facebook looking for a job,” explained Wilkin to the Commissioners. 

Pay at the HCSO is competitive — or even better than — other industries in or around Humboldt County and the benefits employees receive from the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System, like a full paid pension plan, are incomparable to many different jobs in the community. 

“I think this is thinking outside the box. A lot of people recreate and they truck around here. They come here and they love it here but we should give them an idea of why to stay. I think it’s a good plan. It’s a cost but I also think it’s a minimal cost compared to what the cost would be for us to not be able to provide adequate law enforcement for our county,” said Commissioner Jesse Hill. 

According to a local leading billboard advertisement company, over 33,000 people will see the billboard per week as they travel on the highways. With the amount of people moving from the hustle and bustle of urban centers to slower-paced rural areas of Nevada and the population only set to increase, adequate law enforcement must remain a priority for the County.

 “There’s folks that want to get out of the city and we might be able to utilize that as an enhancement to our recruiting efforts for other areas within the County,” said Commissioner Mark Evatz.