By Kayla Anderson
Monday marked a new beginning at the Sparks Police Department as new chief Pete Krall was sworn in to office at the city council meeting.
Krall began his new job recently, and has had a busy first week getting up to speed on his new responsibilities, but he is excited and more than ready to take on the role. Krall started his career in law enforcement in August 1994 first at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office before he had the opportunity to join Sparks Police.
“I had a number of friends in the area who said that Sparks Police was the place to work for because of its family atmosphere,” he says. Krall wholeheartedly found that to be true and it’s the reason why he has spent the last two decades with the department.
“First and foremost, I want to continue to provide the service needed for the people of Sparks. We have really good reputations with state officials and the district attorney, and I want to maintain that,” he says.
Krall’s goals also include implementing/improving a mental health and wellness program for officers and concentration on fulfilling the department with new patrollers, police assistants, dispatchers, and recordkeepers thanks to the new budget authority given by the city.
“We have a lot of hiring to do,” he says. Krall was born and raised in Northern Nevada, double majoring in journalism and criminal justice at University of Nevada, Reno when he realized he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. Residing in Sparks for more than 27 years, Krall is happy in his new role and looking forward to the future. It also meant the world to him when former Police Chief Brian Allen complimented him on his character and told him that he felt comfortable leaving the department in Krall’s hands.
“It was very flattering to receive his blessing,” Krall says.
Krall has plans to keep his officers and community safe and secure in his new role and plans on continuing to fulfill the Sparks Police motto of honor, pride, and privilege:
Honor – “We believe in the work we do, and we do it with honor every day.”
Pride – “We take pride in protecting our community and we work very hard for our victims.”
Privilege – “We understand that it’s a privilege, not a right, to do what we do and serve this community and that’s all that matters to me.”
“I’m very excited moving forward, (this promotion) is a tremendous honor. We have a great department, but I understand where we need to improve and I will continue to strive to meet the community’s needs,” Krall add.
He says that the piece of advice that stands out in his mind that former Police Chief Brian Allen gave him is to, “Follow your heart and make the right decisions. Your heart will tell you the right thing to do”.
Allen retires after lengthy career in Sparks
Former Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen was busy tying up loose ends after his farewell ceremony at the June 10 Sparks City Council meeting spending the next day or so disconnecting his phone, taking his final physical, and attending his retirement party. However, before segueing into retirement, Allen takes a moment to reflect on his years of service and talk about what the future holds for him.
“It’s a weird feeling (being retired); it’s bittersweet and there’s definitely some nostalgia going on,” he says. Allen first joined the Sparks Police Department in 1988 following a tip from one of his former bosses at Safeway. After graduating from high school, his boss in the produce department of the major grocery store chain (also former Sparks Police Chief Steve Keefer), talked him into going into law enforcement. Allen’s brother also worked for the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s truly a way to serve the community,” he says about working for Sparks Police. During his decades-long tenure, Allen says that some of the highlights of his career include spending eight years on the SWAT team (“We did some good things there,” he says), implementing tasers to use in the department, and bringing in an officer wellness program.
“My last 27 years here have been incredible,” he says.
However, all police officers know that the job comes with its fair share of challenges, too. One of Allen’s biggest low points was when former police officer Larry Jones was killed in the line of duty in May 1995 and certain calls he’s had to respond to.
“This is the tragedy that happens in life being an officer. Some people think that we’re so robotic, but it does affect us. Over time those calls wear on you,” he says. However, it’s the people that Allen has worked with who’ve kept him going and who he’ll miss the most.
“The job was good, it was a blessing when I had it, and I enjoyed that camaraderie (within the department). I worked with the best men and women,” Allen says. But being the oldest member of the department, Allen feels ready for a break. When asked what he is going to do in retirement, Allen responds, “A little bit of nothing. I’m taking some time off to decompress.”
He doesn’t plan on doing that forever, though, as he is not even 50 years old yet.
“I can’t just sit around, I want to get back into public service somehow,” he considers.
Allen admits that he’s given new Sparks Police Chief Pete Krall plenty of personal advice over the years but reminds him (and the people within the Sparks Police department) to, “Enjoy and focus on the good because there’s a lot more good going on than bad. Stay positive. We live in a great place, a great state, a great country, and it’s important to have that positive outlook. We have such a great city and I would put our police department employees up against anyone’s. They truly care.”