"Honestly it’s still a little surreal. To think this is where I'm at right now."
- Police Chief Jim Wetzel
CASPER, WY - City Manager John Patterson named Jim Wetzel as the next Casper Police Chief.
Chief Wetzel said he is proud to step up to the plate and is looking forward to serve the city of Casper.
"Honestly it’s still a little surreal. To think this is where I'm at right now. As I mentioned in the press conference, all I asked of John was to look at the whole because I have a unique career path," said Casper Chief of Police Jim Wetzel.
City manager John Patterson feels he had a difficult time in the final decision.
"This is a tough decision to make. Any of the six finalists would have done a fabulous job. In Jim Wetzel we have an excellent combination of skills and direction for the future of the city, police department," said Casper City Manager John Patterson.
Wetzel is a Natrona County native and has worked for the Casper Police Department for fifteen years.
"I’m kind of that mix of an external internal candidate in the fact that I haven't been embedded in that command staff circle,” said Wetzel. “There's going to be that normal turnover and adjustment of getting read in a briefed up on the various functions within the command staff."
Patterson says Wetzel's commitment will help him succeed in the position.
"The Chief has displayed though his life, and especially through the core, the U.S. Marine Corp,” said Patterson. “His loyalties are unquestioned. He has the strength of character that a police chief needs, because there will be tough times. Tough times, internal and external, within the department."
Wetzel served within the Marine Corps Special Ops for much of his career before becoming full time with the city.
"I was activated and attached to active duty units in Iraq in 2004, 2005,” said Wetzel. “Based off of that deployment and relationships, that were made during that deployment, I was requested to come back on full time active duty. To go out and help stand up the Marine Corp Special Operations Command."
Wetzel is planning a department-wide meeting where he will discuss what he plans to accomplish as chief.
He received a bronze star award while serving in the military and is an avid fisherman.