NDPS Divisions – Capitol Police


The mission of the Capitol Police Division is to provide for the safety of persons on state property and to protect state facilities and assets.

The members will perform their duties with enthusiasm, professionalism, courtesy and efficiency. They will act in accordance with the highest standards of ethics, with a commitment to excellence and outstanding public service. The safety and security of state employees, constitutional officers, and the visiting public will be of primary importance.


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 building and grounds, 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.

During it’s 1979 session, the Nevada legislature added the Capitol Security officers to the list of peace officers in the Nevada Revised Statutes 169.125. By listing them in this section with the Nevada Highway Patrol, sheriff’s, and police departments, the legislature granted to them peace officer status with police powers. This dramatically changed their status from watchmen/security officers to that of sworn peace officers. Since the organization was growing professionally, the need for a Chief of Police became apparent. Chief Gerald Cooksey was appointed and served from October 1984 to July 1987.

During the 1985 session the passage of Assembly Bill 230 gave the name “Nevada Capitol Police” to the state security officers. This name change more accurately identified the Nevada Capitol Police as state level law enforcement officers.

In 1985 there were eight members of the Nevada Capitol Police. The main duty station was in the State Capitol building and it was manned on a 24-hour basis, with one graveyard patrol shift.

Five subsequent Chiefs of Police have commanded the force following the retirement of Chief Cooksey; Ray Painter, from August 1987 to March 1994; Jim Hensen, from April 1994 to March 1995; Randal Smith, from April 1995 to March 1998; Ken Johnson, from April 1998 to November 2001; and currently Brad Valladon holds this position.

In 1995 the Nevada legislature transferred the Capitol Police from the Division of Buildings and grounds to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety (DMV&PS), forming a Nevada Capitol Police division within the Department. DMV&PS was split into separate agencies in 2001 and the Capitol Police are now part of the Department of Public Safety.

At present there are 32 members of the Nevada Capitol Police. Twenty officers and one administrative assistant are stationed in Carson City. Eleven officers are stationed in the Grant Sawyer building and Supreme Court in Las Vegas