Jim Wetzel Out As Casper Police Chief

Casper Police officers have a new chief.

Friday, the interim city manager announced that Chief Wetzel would no longer serve in that position.

News 13's Tyler Waggenspack spoke with the interim city manager about what led her to this decision.

"I did a lot of due diligence and over the last three weeks."
Liz Becher's decision didn't come lightly.

She launched her own investigation after the Fraternal Order of Police survey's release which mentioned morale problems within the police department. It also criticized Wetzel's leadership.

"I think that the media coverage of the fop brought to light very quickly for me the seriousness and needing to look into this," said Liz Becher, the Casper Interim City Manager.

Becher also talked with police officers before Friday's announcement.

"Doing a lot of interviews with officers both current officers, as well as past officers both sworn and non-sworn employees of the Casper Police Department, and studying a lot."

And she says Wetzel was aware of the issues.

"Chief Wetzel and I have a lot of weekly meetings and talked about the status in the department."

Since Wetzel has been relieved of police chief duties, Becher says he will no longer serve in the police department. We spoke Wetzel earlier who wouldn't comment at this time since he says he's still trying to figure things out."

And residents shared their opinions on the decision.

"I was very surprised. I had seen him around town, various places, and in the gym. Seemed like a very nice person," said Sharon Reeves.

"It was probably a good thing especially with what was going on with the rest of the force, because if they ain't happy that means they're not happy out there doing their job," said Mike Cruchcck.

Becher also says her decision will allow leadership to go a different direction.

"The Casper Police Department is unified and we are looking forward to moving forward."

Captain Steve Schulz will serve as interim chief until a new replacement is found.

An I.C.M. study was launched after the F.O.P. survey.

It will look at problems in the Casper Police Department.
Becher says results will be released this September.