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Casper Police

A Casper police officer pulls out of the department’s garage in May at the Hall of Justice in downtown Casper. The city on Monday announced the four finalists for the police chief’s job.

Four finalists remain in the running to become Casper’s next police chief.

City Manager Carter Napier said Friday that five candidates were being considered as finalists for the position. Napier said Monday afternoon that a candidate had dropped out in the interim, leaving four candidates.

The candidates and their current positions are:

Boise, Idaho police lieutenant Brett Quilter;

former West Jordan, Utah police chief Drew Sanders;

former Farmington, New Mexico deputy police chief Keith McPheeters;

interim Casper police chief Steve Schulz.

The finalists will come to Casper this week for interviews. Napier said last week that he expects to finalize a hire by Nov. 10.

The position has been staffed in an interim capacity since May by Schulz, who was tapped after former Chief Jim Wetzel was dismissed from his at-will position after problems in the police department became public.

A survey released in early April by the local branch of the Fraternal Order of Police described a toxic environment in the department. Shortly thereafter, a majority of officers gave a vote of no confidence to Wetzel’s leadership.

The City of Casper has not given any reason for Wetzel’s dismissal.

The new chief will be paid between $105,000 and $126,000 annually, according to a job posting issued by the city. Wetzel was paid about $112,000 in 2016.

Napier said last week that he expects to post a job opening for a new fire chief this week. That position is slated to open up in the new year, when Chief Kenneth King’s retirement becomes effective.

King announced his retirement in October 2016, just hours after apologizing for an email regarding 2015’s Cole Creek Fire.

In an email to a subordinate who was collecting video evidence of the fire that destroyed 14 homes, King wrote: “Could you cut out the bad parts, and make sure that no copies are made and only DCI views?”

The email was sent while the fire still blazed, but did not become public until the Star-Tribune published it a year later.

King characterized the email as a “bad joke,” in an interview with the Star-Tribune.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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