Survey Raises Questions About Casper Police Leadership

We have reaction from the target of last night's (Tuesday's) bombshell delivered by Casper's Fraternal Order of Police.

The survey of Casper officers was released at the Casper City Council meeting. It included quotes from anonymous police officers and city staff, all claiming a drop in police morale, and confidence in Chief Wetzel

News 13's Tyler Waggenspack joins us live in the studio with a follow up on this story. He spoke with Police Chief Jim Wetzel late this afternoon.

Good evening Tyler, what was Chief Wetzel's reaction?

Good evening Brady, Wetzel says he wasn't aware of this survey until late last night. He says he's still digesting the information and couldn't say much at this moment.

The survey here, covers nearly twenty seven pages worth of data…all detailing comments regarding Wetzel.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, Mayor Kenyne Humphrey launched an investigation.

Tuesday night, residents took the podium voicing displeasure about
the Casper Police Department. Results of a survey were released with comments about Chief Wetzel, and the police department's operations. Mayor Humphrey says it's quite a surprise.

"It's somewhat concerning. I do recognize it paints one side of the story, but there's enough response in there that I think it's something the council needs to take very seriously and look into it.

The survey included comments from anonymous police officers about the atmosphere inside the police department.

One question was asked of expectations of their administration. Responses given were "good officers are punished for anything that makes news", along with "the chief is disconnected and has unrealistic expectations”, and "he only cares about his reputation."

Another question was asked about job satisfaction. Some answers were..." policies are unsupportive of employees." "The chief is looking for the next guy to fire", and the work environment is toxic.

News 13 caught up with Chief Wetzel who says he was surprised."

"Just saw it for the very first time last night. We're still processing it. Took me by surprise you know and a lot to look into or dig into, I would say."

Mayor Humphrey even says this a first for her during her public service career.

"After my eleven years here, I have not really done anything like this. I'm gonna have to do some research talk to the legal department, and find out what the appropriate process is."

As for Chief Wetzel, he says he can't comment much more at this time as it's ongoing.

"At this point, I want to leave my comments to just the notification that we're still processing."

And Mayor Humphrey says council will look into it.

"It's definitely going to be council's duty to start looking into getting the other side of the story."

As Mayor Humphrey says, the council will launch an investigation into this matter. We're told by Casper Police they'll keep us posted as well as it unwinds.

Brady, I should mention this comes after Casper Police officers launched a five-year plan to look into department improvements. For now, back to you.

We'll be following this story and keep you posted here on News 13.



 
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