Longtime Nye sheriff’s deputy leaving Pahrump

A longtime Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputy is literally moving on to greener pastures.

Deputy Summer Danneker, a 12-year veteran, is off to Lincoln City, Oregon, a town on the central coast of Oregon later this year, where she plans to continue her law enforcement career with the Lincoln City Police Department.

Danneker said the decision did not come easy for her and her family.

“It was a really long and tough decision, because I swung back and forth for quite a few months, trying to decide,” she said. “It was quite a process because on one day, I’m all for it, then the next day I’m thinking I love it so much here.

“I love the community and I love everything I’ve done here in Nye County,” Danneker said. “The sheriff’s office has been wonderful to me, and I don’t have one single complaint. It was a really tough decision, but I decided that is where I want to retire.”

Connected to Pahrump’s small-town feel

Danneker did not hesitate when speaking about what she will miss about the Pahrump Valley, following her departure.

“Pahrump is a very tight-knit community and one of the nice things is that you get to know everybody,” she said. “I really loved serving the community over the years here in Pahrump. I really like the small-town feel of the Pahrump community. I settled here with my kids about 12 years ago, which is when I started at the sheriff’s office. My kids will miss Pahrump too. My oldest is heavily involved in softball here in the community. She’s been playing softball since she was six and now she is 14 years old. I have three children.”

Eager for cooler temperatures

Conversely, Danneker mentioned one element she will not miss.

“It rains a lot up in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m sure I don’t want to do another 115-degree summer in Southern Nevada,” she said.

“The place that I’m going to is where I’ve always wanted to move to because I’m from the Pacific Northwest originally. An opportunity presented itself for me to move back there, so I applied with the Lincoln City Police Department quite a few months ago.”

Extracurricular activities

During her time with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, Danneker performed much more than her regular duties as a sheriff’s deputy.

Each summer over the years she immersed herself in numerous community programs, such as the Gang Resistance Education and Training, known as G.R.E.A.T., as well as the Drug Awareness Resistance and Education, affectionately known as the D.A.R.E. program.

In her absence, she said she’s not exactly sure who will take the reins of the latter program.

“There are a couple of deputies that I worked with for the last few years who expressed some interest in the program,” she noted. “I haven’t been doing it very long either because I just took it over for a little more than a year right now. Normally we would have two or three officers taking part in the program, but this year, I was the only one who had interest in overseeing the program.”

Hoping to continue programs

One glimmer of hope Danneker mentioned was that Sheriff Sharon Wehrly is a big supporter of the DARE program.

“The sheriff and I have talked about it and she really wants to continue the program, but it’s just a matter of trying to find the time and personnel,” she said.

Additionally, Danneker was also deeply involved in the sheriff’s office’s monthly women’s self-defense classes for close to a decade.

“I’ve been doing it for nine years,” she recalled. “I have heard that the sheriff does have something in the works for another type of citizens’ self-defense class, but I don’t know any of the details or when that’s coming around, but she is interested in getting something going. Throughout the years I’ve also done some bullying presentations at the schools in the valley.”

Location, location, location

As Danneker has relatives living in Southern California, she said she will also miss the short drive from Pahrump to the Golden State.

“I have always liked the location of the Pahrump Valley,” she said. “We are very close to Vegas without having to live there. I also have a lot of family in Southern California and it’s always been a quick drive there. That was one of the things that I was considering for quite some time regarding a 16-hour drive to see my family or a four-hour drive. Pahrump has a lot of positive benefits to it that I will certainly miss.”

Words of wisdom

Danneker also offered a bit of advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

“I would tell them to stay out of trouble, which is number one,” she noted. “They should also research the community they plan on working in just to make sure it’s a good fit for them. You also want to research the law enforcement agency to determine whether it’s a good fit for you.

“You may also want to consider going on some ride-alongs with officers,” Danneker said. “Certainly education is crucial. As a police officer, you can’t become one until you’re 21 years of age. That’s the perfect opportunity for someone to take a few years off and go to college or even the military.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes