Open communication commended in Platte County

Mark DeLap
Posted 2/8/23

An OP ED by Mark DeLap

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Open communication commended in Platte County


At the last Platte County Commissioners meeting the plan and contract to absorb the Guernsey police department was discussed. In that meeting were Guernsey mayor Eddie Delgado and Pam Hebbert, Guernsey’s town clerk.

At that meeting, David Russell, county sheriff, presented a draft agreement between the County and Town of Guernsey. The draft agreement would require that the County provide police services within the town limits of Guernsey, in return the Town would pay the County the actual cost of staffing. Sheriff Russell will present the draft agreement to the Town of Guernsey for their consideration.

“PCSO will continue to provide the same law enforcement services to the community of Guernsey,” Russell said in a comment to the PC Record-Times after the commissioner’s meeting. “It will be enhanced by PCSO’s ability to cover the Camp and rural areas of Guernsey which are not within City Limits. Coverage will be 24/7. Deputies will continue to enforce municipal ordinance and state statutes. Municipal ordinance violations will continue to go to the Town of Guernsey as they currently do.

“I personally feel by entering into this agreement PCSO will be able to provide professional law enforcement services to the community of Guernsey. There will not be jurisdictional issues when trying to complete cases which both are in City Limits and out in the County. I feel it will allow for a better use of taxpayer funds and manpower for both the Town of Guernsey and PCSO. Anyone with questions can feel free to call PCSO and we will answer them the best we can.”

The Guernsey mayor and clerk took the draft agreement back to the Guernsey town council which acted on behalf of the town and set a town meeting to get community support. Instead of just going ahead and making a decision, the council included everyone in the community to be aware and offer their input.

Well done Guernsey and Platte County Sheriff’s department and governmental leaders from Platte County. After that meeting, Russell again offered his thoughts on the community meeting.

“Here are some of my thoughts/clarifications from the Guernsey public meeting,” Russell said.

“I feel the public meeting was a good way to get individuals opinion and questions on the subject. I think it is important for all involved to understand the needs of the community. With that being said,

coverage for the Town of Guernsey will be increased if PCSO was to take over. There would be a sheriff’s deputy within city limits 24/7. This deputy would be required to stay within the designated area per the contract. Currently, Guernsey has an officer who lives out of town, and is unable to respond to calls emergent from Wheatland, if needed. PCSO deputies do not have this issue as they have county-wide jurisdiction.

PCSO has deputies who live in the community and who have children attending Guernsey Sunrise School. PCSO is working with Platte County School District No. 2 to bring a school resource officer into the Guernsey Sunrise Schools.

PCSO has good working relationships with other agencies to include: Wyoming Probation and Parole, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. These partnerships allow PCSO to work collaboratively to solve issues.

It is known there is a drug issue in Guernsey. PCSO has three narcotics K9s able to be used for the detection of illegal substances. PCSO doesn’t have the jurisdictional issues GUPD has when working drug crime cases. It is important to not see it as taking away the police department. PCSO would be building and increasing the law enforcement capabilities for the Guernsey community.”

Further clarification and transparency are welcomed to the county and we hope that this kind of open communication continues to grow. Only from working together in an upfront and transparent system can we hope to continue to strengthen our communities.