A Wyoming police group threw its support Tuesday behind the Casper officers who gave embattled police Chief Jim Wetzel a vote of no confidence on Monday.
The statewide Fraternal Order of Police, which has roughly 300 members, announced in a brief statement its support for Casper FOP Lodge No. 6, which took the vote on Wetzel’s leadership.
Sixty officers, representing about two-thirds of the department’s 94 sworn officers, voted that they had no confidence in Wetzel’s leadership. Three voted in support of the chief, and another 10 officers abstained.
“The State FOP Board commends the efforts taken by Lodge #6 in an effort to improve not only their department, but also the quality of police services for the entire community,” the statement reads.
The Wyoming FOP represents the state’s officers on national issues.
Wetzel declined to comment on the no confidence vote during a Tuesday afternoon phone call.
The announcement is the latest development in a stunning two weeks at City Hall. The tumult began with the release of a survey that made public morale problems inside the Casper Police Department related to leadership issues. The survey also criticized city leadership for not acting after complaints about Wetzel were brought to the city manager’s office and human resources.
In the aftermath, members of the City Council called for an investigation and City Manager V.H. McDonald announced his retirement.
City Council members say McDonald did not inform them about the simmering problems at the police department, even after a group of officers sought assistance from City Hall.