Carson City's SET helping criminals stay clean

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Updated: 5/22/2014 10:31 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- With just a few hours of sunlight left on a spring afternoon, Carson City Sheriff's Office Sgt Brian Humphrey and his partner, IVO are set to begin their ten-hour shift.

But what may appear to be routine patrol, is actually more of a fishing expedition.

"I actually use that term quite a bit," said Sgt. Humphrey. "We're going fishing and we don't want to the little fish, we want to throw them back."

The big fish Humphrey is referring to, are the small percentage of the population who commit the majority of crimes in the city. To find them, the Special Enforcement Team of deputies and officers from the surrounding area establish leads the old-fashioned way.

"We're going to drive by certain locations, certain houses as get a feel as to what going on today," said Humphrey. "If you don't get out and talk to people and make the stops, you're not going to find anything."

What may start as a simple stop for a traffic violation, could end in a warning. Or lead to something much more serious.

"A simple little contact with someone who commits a minor violation, such as jaywalking or something like that, may lead to a felony warrant or someone running from us, because they have drug or a gun on them that they're not supposed to have," Humphrey explained.

The day starts like most for the team, following leads, and making lots of contacts. A couple hours into the shift, they are called to assist a fellow SET member in a traffic stop for a minor infraction.

Behind the wheel is 20-year-old Zach Porter, one of those familiar faces the team has deal with in the past for drugs. With nothing to hide, Porter takes a seat on the curb, and gives permission for IVO to search his truck. "Yeah, I'm trying to stay out of trouble. I'm on formal probation, so you guys can search me all you want."

He's all smiles as the search turns up clean. In fact, Porter is about as farmiliar with the SET team as they are with him. He was raided in the past, and the SET team found six ounces of marijuana.

As it turns out, that bust proved to be a turning point for this 20-year-old. "I was going all downhill. It was getting worse by the day with the addiction. I was getting swallowed by it."

A few days after meeting Porter, News 4 went back out to visit him at his home in Carson City. What we found was much different than his arrest record would suggest.

"I'm on a path and I want to be somewhere else in 4-5 yeas and I have it all planned out with goals," revealed Porter. "It's great to have goals."

Goals and, for the first time, a support system to stay on track.

"Ultimately people need to get sober for themselves," said Drug and Alcohol Counselor Brandie White. "I can't make them be sober, so they have to accept their treatment."

Porter finally accepted his reality inside a Washoe County jail cell. "It was going deeper and deeper, I saw my other friends going to heroine and meth and doing cocaine."

When asked if Porter thought he would have gone there, he said, "Yeah, if I didn't straighten up or get caught. Those guys (the SET team) were a focal part because if those guys didn't catch me, I'd probably be doing the same exact thing."

That success is echoed inside the walls of White's counseling office. "This last week, I've had three of my clients come to me and say they'd been stopped by the SET team, and all three came up clean, and that's good news for me. They all had a story to tell, so I think they're doing a good job out there."

"If you fall off track, you're going to see that badge in front of you," said Sheriff Ken Furlong. "If you stay on track, they have the ability to help you along."

Since initiating the Specialized Enforcement element to patrol, Furlong said success stories like Porter's and many others means one thing. "It is working. In 2013, we saw a dramatic drop in our crime levels in town. Brian Humphrey leads that team and he's doing an exceptional job."

They will continue fishing the streets of Carson City, in hopes of reducing crimes, while creating more success stories like Porter's. "I love the positive aspect of it, especially from going to my rock bottom to being good, and being in a four-year college kind of thing. My whole work's paying for it, part of the union, I would have never have thought of any of that."
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nagromnoslen - 1/22/2015 12:56 PM
0 Votes
Mr. Truth, OH how you read my mind. Not only have you hit the nail on the head, but I think we both know how easy it is for officer's to obtain the information from snitches. They prey on the young, scared, the mother's, and of course ignorant! They get the birds to sing with there interrogation composed of lies . The best resource one can do to avoid the harassment of the police is to educate your self. Learn about your rights and the laws of Nevada

MrTruth - 5/26/2014 9:03 AM
0 Votes
Yeah they don't want small potatoes but if you decide not to rat your friends out they will try to put you in prison over small potatoes or even something like in my case you didn't even do. They love using the small stuff, they'll send u to prison over marijuana. Its all set up to just keep us in let slavery by siphoning money from the poor and keeping us from any opportunity. If U don't have money and can't bail out and hire a real attorney, you are screwed and many MANY people end up pleading guilty on a deal just so they dont have to continue to sit in jail scared to death waiting for trial on Some stacked up bs charges in which carry a massive sentence just praying your public defender (who has 50 cases) doesn't send you down the river to his buddy at the DA. Cause he owes him one from the week before and needs to lighten up their work load. If you don't rat, they will teach you a lesson, they will also make it so you can never get a decent job, never vote, never get licensed, probably lose all your freedom for at least 5 years of probation , while you're in prison your minds going to get all messed up, your credit will most likely be shot from not being able to keep up with anythingfrom inside a jail cell. Just so they can fill these prisons up and tax us so we can pay them to make our lives miserable... The drug that puts the highest number of people in jail and prison on drug crime is marijuana, so for them to say that they're not interested in the small fish, is total PR bs. There's a kid in Texas right now that was caught with like 20 brownies, its all over the news, and they're charging him with the entire weight of the brownies as a concentrate, instead of trying to figure out the weight of the concentrate in the brownies, he's looking at life in prison over a batch of absolutely harmless brownies. Wake up Nevada.

Kramer - 5/22/2014 4:19 PM
0 Votes
IVO-isn't that some sort of "butter" substitute? Nv4, could U attribute?

Kramer - 5/22/2014 4:18 PM
1 Vote
this story is like some sort of comic book episode, with garbled spelling and oh-so-heartfelt testimonials. (only mayor Bob gets me in the gut more). is this supposed to be inspirational? it has a basis in fact but reeks of propaganda. marijuana isn't a big deal in many places, can we all just move on? don't call it "pot"

carsonview - 5/22/2014 4:07 PM
1 Vote
Carson City Sheriff Furlong, DA Neil Rombardo and his sidekick Mark Krueger and Judge Tatro are corrupt as hell. See more

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