Casper Police Department Assessment Phase One and Two Down

Back in April Casper City Council Members hired the Center for Public Safety Management, or CPSM, to assess the Casper Police Department's services, after many officers expressed concern with the department's leadership.

A community focus session was held at city hall tonight as part of the second phase to their assessment.

A survey of Casper police officers was released earlier this year.
It included anonymous quotes from officers who claimed a drop in police morale and confidence in previous police chief, Jim Wetzel.
Back in April, Mayor Kenyne Humphrey had this to say when concerns first came to light..

"It's a delicate situation. Without knowing the individuals involved, without having any knowledge of operations of the police department and having one side of the story it's definitely going to be council's duty to start trying to get the other side of the story," said Mayor Kenyne Humphrey.

The survey's responses prompted city council members to hire the Center for Public Safety Management, CPSM for short, to give an independent analysis of the police department.

After four months spent identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the Casper Police Department, based on workload, staffing, operations and more, the first phase of the CPSM's assessment is complete.

As part of the second phase, the community was invited to share their thoughts about the Casper Police Department with CPSM consultants tonight.

"It really comes down to an integrity issue."

"End goals of the Casper Police Department... those have not been publicized to the community."

"That ability to communicate to the public and engage with the public I would put it as more of a weakness than a strength."

"Deep rooted ‘good ole boy’ mentality or cowboy mentality."

"So you get that inconsistency, there’s some people that, I mean... Wow! That really great first impression of our officers and then you hear stories about... wow!"

"I had to call them for work the other day and they were pretty speedy showing up. I was happy to see them."

"Casper Police Department is, in my opinion, well-manned."

"Get people that enjoy being in Wyoming that wanna be in Wyoming and maybe need some help getting trained to be a police officer, rather than bringing someone in from a big city."

After hearing the community’s thoughts tonight, CPSM consultants made one thing known.

"Even if it's been unpopular they've shared with us some of the stuff so I think this department is very receptive to change," said Craig Junginger, Center for Public Safety Management.

That change might come in the form of a 150 page report in a few months.

Junginger ended tonight’s focus session by saying "with adversity comes opportunity."

The CPSM’s report consists of suggestions for change rather than requirements.