By Kelsey Givens
“This community is small enough that we can make a difference. They’re small differences, but they’re still differences and any change is better than no change.”
Deputy Wesley Fancher is making a difference, on the job and off.
Fancher, 29, is a young police officer, having joined the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in June 2010.
When he is not working long hours patrolling the streets of Pahrump or spending time with his family or church, this officer is volunteering his time with various organizations, giving back to those most in need in this community.
“I serve off duty, serve on duty,” he says.
Fancher first connected with the town of Pahrump and the people here when he moved to the area with his family at the age of 15. Though he left to pursue other interests at 18, he said he was drawn back to the town at the age of 23 or 24.
“I guess I found who I was here,” he says with a smile.
Before deciding to join the ranks of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office a little over two years ago, Fancher said he spent seven years working as a knight in the Tournament of Kings show at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“I can’t have a normal job. I used to work at a show in Vegas, the Tournament of Kings show, and I was a knight for seven years. I need some kind of excitement in my work,” he said.
Though the thrill of playing a knight night after night fulfilled his need for excitement, he said he still kept coming back to his dream of one day working as a police officer.
“I always wanted to be a cop. I used to dress up as one for Halloween. And I don’t know, it just seemed like such a fun job, you never know what’s going to happen. And like I said I can’t have a normal job,” he said.
So in 2010, he jumped at an opportunity to pursue that dream and signed up for the sheriff’s office police academy. He was hired right afterward.
That choice seems to have paid off for Fancher who said he truly enjoys his career as a deputy, despite some of the more dangerous situations he has already faced in just over two years of service.
Fancher was one of two deputies involved in a shootout with a suspected member of the Hessians motorcycle club, Edward Garza, in June after the man allegedly pulled a gun on police outside a home on Manse Road.
Despite dangers like these, Fancher seems to keep a positive attitude about his job, always pointing out the positive.
“I love it, I love my job, I love my agency. No regrets,” he said.
Though Fancher works long hours as a deputy, his friend Jeremy Setters, owner of I.C.A.N Family Services, said Fancher never says no to an opportunity to help someone in need, whether it’s at work or on his own free time.
“Maybe sometimes the deputies don’t get credit for all of the things they do. He deserves the recognition that he gets, because he really does work so hard and he’s so passionate about what he does,” Setters said.
Capt. Bill Becht, Fancher’s superior at the sheriff’s office, seemed to echo that sentiment, stating Fancher is simply a great employee who is dedicated and sincere in all that he does.
“He’s a really good guy,” he said.
Fancher reportedly spends hours of his own free time volunteering at his church, Fidelis Christian Church, and also with other organizations, including I.C.A.N.
“Through my church I do some stuff. I go to Fidelis Christian Church and we do some volunteer stuff there, just to help people out, just to serve people,” Fancher said.
One of the next big charity events Fancher said his church is putting on is a benefit concert and comedy show to raise money for disadvantaged children.
“Right now, we’re actually putting together a benefit, it’s like a concert and comedy event. It’s going to have all these people singing and we’re trying to find comedians that are g-rated, and it’s to raise money for orphans,” he said.
The event, scheduled for Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Ian Deutch Memorial Park, “will be really great for the kids,” he added.
In addition to his work through the church, Setters said several times over the last year Fancher has also agreed to come in to talk with some of the troubled kids he works with. Kids who may just need another perspective from someone who can explain the consequences of certain decisions they’ve made or are thinking about making.
“When he came on board and offered to volunteer with some of the kids, he does that on his own free time, he comes in and talks to the kids about life choices and things like that and kind of lets them know the law part of it too because he is a deputy.” Setters said. “I’ll call him because I feel there may be a youth who may be able to benefit from him speaking to them and then he’ll say ‘OK I’ll make some time when you’re available’ and we’ll work it out, that kind of thing. Literally he’s never once said no I’m too busy I can’t see your kid. Although I’m sure he is.”
Setters said Fancher has even helped him locate a foster home in the area at the last minute, just to make sure one homeless child wouldn’t be left without a place to go.
“There was one time I was working and there was this youth who had no place to go, because there’s no foster homes really in Pahrump. He Fancher made phone calls to friends and family to try and find someone who knew of a foster home and get this kid placed. He’s gone above and beyond anything I’ve ever heard anybody do, it’s amazing,” he said.
Though Setters is quick to recognize Fancher for all of the work he does, both on duty as an officer and off duty as a member of the community, Fancher seems to remain very humble about all of it, saying he is just glad he can help.
“It’s another door that’s open for them. You know right now, it’s just another door for them to go through, another option for them to take rather than one day they’ll be in cuffs in the back of my car. We can stop that problem before it gets there,” Fancher said.
He added he believes giving back to the community, in whatever way it may be, is important in helping to connect the community and make it just a little bit better place.
And though dramatic changes can’t be made overnight, Fancher said he believes any change for the positive is worth putting in the effort through volunteer work.
“This community is small enough that we can make a difference. They’re small differences, but they’re still differences and any change is better than no change,” he said.
And with an outlook like that, it’s easy to see why his friends, family and fellow community members look at Fancher as a valued asset in the community.
“He just really cares about making Pahrump a better, safer place,” Setters said.