Ex-Washoe County Sheriff Balaam dead at age 62

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Updated: 5/07/2014 10:27 pm

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Former Washoe County Sheriff Dennis Balaam (BAY-luhm) has died at the age of 62.

The sheriff's office says Balaam died at his home Tuesday as a result of an ongoing medical condition.

Sheriff Michael Haley said in a statement Wednesday that Balaam was a respected colleague and good friend who made many contributions to the community during his tenure as sheriff from 2000-07. He was the first sheriff in 64 years to come up through the ranks to assume command of the agency.

Among other things, Balaam brought the Amber Alert System to northern Nevada, acquired an armored SWAT vehicle and expanded the county's inmate work programs. He worked in law enforcement for 35 years.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.

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