Assembly Sergeant at Arms

The office of the Sergeant at Arms dates back to the days of King Richard I of England, who reigned over England from 1189 to 1199.  The Sergeant at Arms was a personal attendant to the King, charged with arresting those suspected of treason.  Here in the United States, the role of the Sergeants at Arms began with the first Congress (1789-1791).  The first Sergeant at Arms in Nevada served during the 1861 Territorial Legislature, and that tradition continues to this day.

The Assembly Sergeant at Arms is the principal law enforcement officer for the body and reports to the Speaker and the Chief Clerk.  In this capacity, the Sergeant at Arms and his staff oversee the floor and galleries, maintain order and decorum within the Assembly Chamber and the adjoining hallways, and coordinate the safety of the Assembly members and visiting dignitaries within and around the Chamber with the Legislative Police. The Assembly Sergeant at Arms also coordinates the Governor’s biennial State of the State Address and announces all visiting dignitaries to the Assembly.

When the presiding officer of the Assembly—usually the Speaker—orders a call of the house, it is the responsibility of the Sergeant at Arms to locate and return absent members to the Assembly.  Because the Nevada Constitution requires a quorum of members to conduct certain business, this power is essential to the function of the legislative body.  The Nevada Constitution also gives the Assembly the power to “punish, by imprisonment, any person not a member, who shall have been guilty of disrespect to the House by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence,” and Nevada statute authorizes the Sergeant at Arms to take “temporary custody” of persons guilty of such charges.

Questions?  Contact the Assembly Sergeant at Arms:


Mary Matheus
Assembly Sergeant at Arms
401 South Carson Street, Room 1119
Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 684-8524