In the first half of 2019, some of Natrona County’s more prominent law enforcement officers have retired from law enforcement. Two recent retirees, however, aren’t going far.
Jake Carlson, who retired in January after a half-decade with the Casper Police Department ended with a shooting that nearly killed him, and Aaron Shatto, who spent nearly a quarter-century with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, are still investigating.
In May of last year, Carlson pulled into an east Casper parking lot to assist Officer Randi Garrett on a traffic stop. When Carlson tried to grab the vehicle’s owner, David P. Wolosin, 38, by the forearm, Wolosin drew a gun and shot Carlson four times. Carlson returned fire and wounded Wolosin, and Garrett shot and killed their attacker.
In the days following the shootout, Carlson received more than 100 units of blood and blood products. His heart stopped multiple times on an operating room table. He spent more than a month in the hospital. Carlson returned to work that fall before announcing his medical retirement in an early January email to the department.
Following his retirement, Carlson kept working for the agency — as well as the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and Mills Police Department — on a contract basis, investigating the backgrounds of potential hires. It was in this role that he began working more closely with Aaron Shatto, whose duties as investigative sergeant for the sheriff’s office made him responsible for the background process. When Carlson investigated a potential sheriff’s deputy, he reported to Shatto.
Carlson was a few months into his new gig when Shatto began looking closely at retirement. Once Shatto set a date of June 1 to hang up his badge, Carlson began angling for a new business partner.
“Just from our interactions in his office when I was picking up backgrounds, you could tell it was a good fit,” Carlson told the Star-Tribune this week. “I was recruiting really hard.”
It’s not unusual for law enforcement officers — who are eligible for retirement after 20 years of service in typical circumstances — to find a part-time job after leaving the force. Although Shatto had been looking at a variety of jobs after giving notice to the agency, he starting taking Carlson’s offer more seriously as retirement drew nearer.
On June 1, Shatto joined JDC Investigations LLC, a company whose name shares Carlson’s initials. They’ve continued providing background work to local law enforcement agencies, but are branching out into other areas of work as well.
On the back porch of Shatto’s east Casper home last week, the two retired cops said they worked on an out-of-county case earlier this month, but couldn’t describe it closely to maintain confidentiality for their client. They’ve spoken to attorneys about helping investigate civil cases and personal injury lawsuits. They’re a little cautious when it comes to criminal work, however.
Shatto and Carlson said they don’t want to put themselves in the position of trying to impeach the testimony of a current cop. If a defense attorney is looking for an expert witness who’ll cast doubt on police work at trial, he might have to keep looking.
“That’s probably something we would pass on,” Carlson said.
The two men are keeping busy and supplementing their retirement pay. But on Thursday morning, Carlson eyed an afternoon at Alcova Reservoir and Shatto planned a weekend of camping. The week prior they’d spent as instructors at a children’s camp on Casper Mountain.
They ultimately aren’t in it to get rich.
“The most important thing on it is we’re gonna continue to do the right thing,” Shatto said. “And we’re not gonna stray from that.”