The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and Donor Network West announced they have partnered to launch a new program to help increase the number of Washoe County residents who register as organ donors. The program, “Second Chances,” launches today in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the successful organ transplant of Reagan Tone, the three-year-old daughter of Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy, Nicholas Tone. The program will run through January 11, 2021.
The “Second Chances” program allows Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputies, at their discretion, to give motorists who are registered organ donors and who are pulled over for minor traffic violations a warning ticket, as opposed to a fine. Drivers who have the official organ donor heart on their up-to-date Nevada driver’s license will be told that they are being given a second chance to correct their violation without a fine – because their status as an organ donor gives a fellow citizen a second chance at life.
“Everyone knows that the words ‘license and registration, please,’ is one of the worst phrases any driver wants to hear,” Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said. “This program turns a stressful situation – being pulled over by a law enforcement officer – into a surprising and positive outcome for those who are registered organ donors. This program thanks organ donors and, hopefully, will encourage more Nevadans to give others a second chance,” Balaam added. “The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is honored to participate in this program.”
Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Tone shared, “My daughter Reagan’s life was saved because someone said yes to organ donation. With today being the one year anniversary of her kidney transplant, I hope that this program highlights the importance of saying yes to registering as a donor, to help people like Reagan.”
In addition, at the discretion of individual Sheriff’s Deputies, drivers who are not registered organ donors and are pulled over for minor traffic violations may be informed that they are being given a second chance to fix their violation without a fine in exchange for their serious consideration of becoming a registered organ donor.
This program is being conducted in partnership with Donor Network West, the federally-designated organ procurement organization responsible for facilitating the recovery of organs, eyes and tissues in Northern Nevada.
Donor Network West shares that the need for more organ donors critical, as per the following statistics:
About 110,000 men, women, and children are currently waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., with over 600 of those residing in Nevada.
Every 10 minutes, one person is added to the national transplant waiting list.
Every day, on average 20 Americans die because the lifesaving organ they need is not donated in time.
While about 95 percent of Americans support organ donation, just above half are registered organ donors. But only 3 in 1,000 registered donors die in a manner that facilitates organ donation.
For more information about this program, or to find how your municipality, organization or group can become involved, visit the Donor Network West website: https://www.donornetworkwest.org
About Washoe County Sheriff’s Office:
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.
About Donor Network West:
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. The organization was established in 1987 and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 45 counties in Northern California and Northern Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.