law enforcement

Karen Cotton

A new children’s book tells the story of the Cheyenne sheriff department’s K-9 unit. K-9 & Deputy Heroes of the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department focuses on the law enforcement agency's dogs and their handlers.

To write the book, author Karen Cotton partnered with deputies and sergeants in Cheyenne during trainings and a ride-along. Cotton said one of the reasons she wrote a non-fiction book for kids about a K-9 Unit is to show them the dogs aren’t as scary as they may seem.

Wyoming highway patrol

The Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that enhances the penalties for fleeing a police officer or attempting to flee a police officer. 

The bill makes it a felony if a driver tries to elude a police officer and drives recklessly. The penalty is further enhanced if the driver injures someone or causes property damage. 

LaGrange Senator Curt Meier said someone who is driving recklessly is not necessarily committing a felony, and that the bill goes too far.

Illustration: Jared Rodriguez /truthout.org via Flickr Creative Commons

Wyoming ranks fourth in the nation for the number of students its schools refer to law enforcement and courts. That’s according to a data analysis by The Center for Public Integrity.

The investigative news organization looked at Department of Education data from 2011-2012 school year. In that one school year, Wyoming schools sent school discipline problems on to law enforcement agencies at a rate of about 12 per 1,000 students. That’s twice the national average.

Miles Bryan

When you hear “law enforcement” what do you picture? A police officer, a sheriff’s deputy, maybe a highway patrol trooper--but probably not a prison guard. That is a problem for Wyoming’s Department of Corrections recruiting division. Right now they’re 20 percent short of guards system wide. A lot of that shortage is due to recent growth in high paying energy jobs, but Corrections has struggled for many years with recruitment and retention, in Wyoming and across the country.

Flickr user nukeit1

Police forces nationwide have been criticized for their increased militarization following this summer’s protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Now, Goshen County is coming under scrutiny for owning two grenade launchers. 

The weapons have never been used, but are kept by the Goshen County Sheriff’s department in case they are needed to immobilize a crowd of people. The county is home to only around 14-thousand people, and its jail houses just 25 inmates.

The Wyoming Senate killed a bill that would have required DNA testing for those charged with a crime. Information from the DNA tests would then be stored in a database.  Senator Drew Perkins of Casper told the Senate that such action violates people's rights.

"Through technology we continue to find more, and more, and more, and more information about us that's stored.  We already have in our statutes that if you are convicted of a crime of felony, we store and maintain that DNA.  This takes it another step further."

As eligible Native Americans in Fremont County await checks owed them as part of a settlement with the federal government, law enforcement is preparing to institute extra security measures to protect tribal members.

A report released by the Indian Law and Order Commission says law enforcement responsibilities on Indian reservations should be placed with tribes, rather than with federal and state governments, as they are now. The report, titled “A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer,” looked at public safety issues in Native American communities nationwide and made recommendations to close the public safety gap by 2024. Public safety in tribal communities often lags behind non-Native communities. 

Irina Zhorov

A new program will allow Laramie and Cheyenne police officers to help one another during the Jubilee and Frontier Days weekends this month.

The arrangement allows an employee of one city to work in another city as needed. The police departments have decided to pilot the program with a focus on preventing drunk driving during the two popular festivals, beginning this weekend.

Commander Mitchell Cushman of the Laramie Police Department says that while the Cheyenne officers will be actively patrolling for impaired drivers, they will be able to enforce all Laramie laws. 

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a parolee who says he was forcibly catheterized to provide a urine sample.  

Wyoming A-C-L-U Attorney Jennifer Horvath says Parolee Daniel Delaney did consent to testing without search warrants, but he had submitted a breath and blood sample.