WPR News
4:08 am
Fri June 29, 2007

Sweetwater Surge Handicaps Sheriff

Rock Springs, WY – With the oil and gas industry booming in Sweetwater County, the Sheriff's department says keeping enough well-trained deputies on patrol has become increasingly difficult.

With more than 10,000 square miles of territory to cover and thousands of new gas wells expected in the next decade, Sheriff Rich Haskell says he'll have a hard time keeping up as towns like Wamsetter and Granger swell with workers.

The Sheriff's Office says it's already understaffed. It has about one deputy for every 24-hundred residents. Patrol Lieutenant Rick Hawkins says that's one of worst ratios in the state.

Hawkins says the department has a hard time finding qualified recruits when oil and gas companies pay so well.