Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel said he has not considered resigning despite reports of low morale from within his department and the call by at least one City Council member for him to step down.
“Nope, nope, still here,” Wetzel told the Star-Tribune in an interview Tuesday.
Wetzel said he believes the city manager’s office and City Council continue to support him.
“I think so,” he said. “I’m still standing here. One day at a time.”
A survey released in early April by the local Fraternal Order of Police cited high levels of discontent at the Casper Police Department and attacked Wetzel’s leadership.
A “no confidence” vote of department officers followed and councilwoman Amanda Huckabay called for his resignation on Friday.
“It’s absolutely negligent for anyone who’s in a position of authority to continue in that position when they are blatantly aware that their subordinates have no faith in their ability to lead them,” Huckabay said.
Mayor Kenyne Humphrey has not directly called for his resignation but she pointedly offered her resignation last week, pledging to step down if her fellow Council members did not support her.
“I was just making a point,” she said. “If my Council had no faith in me and thought I couldn’t do it, I would quit the job in a heartbeat.”
Interim City Manager Liz Becher said last week that Wetzel continued to retain her confidence.
On Tuesday, Wetzel reiterated comments he made following the FOP survey’s release that he needed to improve communication within the department and said there was “a lot of … mending that needs to take place.”
Wetzel said he was waiting for the completion of an outside assessment of the police department that had been planned since before the FOP survey came out and which was approved by Council last week.
“Let them do the assessment, the top to bottom, and we’ll see what they come up with,” he said.
The results of that report are expected in September.
Wetzel spoke to the Star-Tribune following a Council work session. Council went into executive session following their work session to discuss personnel.
In addition to questions about Wetzel’s leadership, Council must begin the process of hiring a permanent city manager after V.H. McDonald’s abrupt retirement last week.