seal From the office of 
Governor Kenny Guinn
DATE:  March 9, 2000 
CONTACT:  Jack Finn
702/486-2500 Phone
702/486-2505 Fax
Carson City - Governor Kenny Guinn announced today that he has named Washoe County Sheriff Richard Kirkland as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety. Kirkland, 54, will replace the current director, John Drew, effective May 31st.

"Richard Kirkland, through his organizational and management skills as well as his outstanding leadership abilities, has made the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country," Governor Guinn said. "I’m looking forward to him taking the helm at DMV and moving the agency forward for the benefit of all Nevadans."

Kirkland, a former Reno Chief of Police, was elected Washoe County Sheriff in 1995. He has been a resident of Washoe County for 42 years and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management from Sierra Nevada College. Sheriff Kirkland is a graduate of seven national law enforcement training institutes, including the FBI National Academy, and has lectured nationally on topics including community oriented policing.

"It’s difficult for me to leave the Sheriff’s Office because of all the accomplishments we’ve made, all the friendships and partnerships that have been forged, and because of my love for Washoe County," Kirkland said. "However, Governor Guinn has given me a tremendous opportunity to make a difference for our entire state and I’m looking forward to creating a Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety that will be a source of pride for all Nevadans."

Sheriff Kirkland has already begun studying the issues facing DMV and formulating a plan to improve service. His goal is to have specific recommendations for short-term solutions within six weeks of beginning work as director, and recommendations for long-term solutions within 90 days.

"Under Governor Guinn’s leadership, customer service at the DMV has improved recently. However, it is not yet at a level that is acceptable to the Governor, me, or the people of Nevada," Kirkland said. "It is my goal to work with the Guinn administration to improve customer service rapidly and dramatically."

Year 2000 DMV&PS News Releases