Nevada Capitol Security
In 1949, the Nevada Legislature established the Division of Buildings and Grounds. The superintendent of this new division was responsible for the security of the Capitol and other state buildings under his supervision and control. He hired and armed two night watchmen to fulfill that responsibility. The Legislature granted the watchmen the same powers of arrest as the police officers of Carson City. In 1966, the watchmen were renamed Capitol Security, and in 1972, they were provided with uniforms. Although these state security officers were armed, they received no formal weapons training and were not peace officers. They had the same limited authority as the watchmen who preceded them. They had no assigned vehicle but utilized any available Division of Buildings and Grounds vehicle to patrol state property.
Nevada Capitol Police
In 1985, the Nevada Legislature granted Nevada Capitol Security officers peace officer status with police powers. This dramatically changed their status from security officers to that of sworn peace officers and created the Nevada Capitol Police. Gerald Cooksey was appointed as the first Nevada Capitol Police chief and served from October 1984 to July 1987.
This name change more accurately identified the Nevada Capitol Police as state level law enforcement officers.
In 1995, the Nevada Capitol Police were transferred from the Division of Buildings and Grounds to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.
Nevada Department of Public Safety
In 2001, the Capitol Police Division was transferred to the newly created Nevada Department of Public Safety. All DPS Officers are unified and strive to achieve the department’s mission by promoting safer communities through prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, education, and enforcement.