County law enforcement praise Rural Justice Training Center

Riverton Police Sergeant Scott Komrs gets a blast of water from David Woolery as he entered the wet zone during bicycle officer training earlier this summer at CWC. (Ernie Over photo) 

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Leadership of Lander, Riverton and Fremont County law enforcement gave the Rural Justice Training Center a glowing review last week during Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees’s regular meeting.

RJTC Director Eric Heiser started off a brief presentation to the CWC Board by reviewing the history of the center, noting that thanks to a COPS grant that was applied for in conjunction with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, the RJTC has become a “full-fledged training facility.”

“A lot of the credit, if not all of the credit, goes to the (tribal) Business Council,” Heiser said.

The grant awarded the RJTC about $350,000 to provide free training to any law enforcement in the area over the course of three years. Heiser said since the start of the grant at the beginning of this year there had been about 15 training sessions. Those trainings have amounted to more than 370 college credits awarded to a portion of 372 students. About $147,000 of the grant has been spent so far.

Riverton Police Chief Mike Broadhead said the training has helped is department stay “relevant.” He said that he had at that moment 10 officers participating in crime scene training when normally he’d be lucky to be able to afford sending one.

Lander Police Chief Jim Carey said the trainings had provided his officers with experiences never available locally before. “The end result is coming straight to our communities,” he said.

“I’m proud of the outcomes and the education,” Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker said. Having a background as a trainer, he said he’s been impressed with the training he’s seen from the RJTC. Like Broadhead, he said the free training lessens costs to “our pretty stressed budgets.”

Hornecker and Heiser also stressed the benefits of the different agencies getting to train together, including building trust and a sense of unity across the county. The one agency that is also benefiting from the grant-funded training that was not in attendance was the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

CWC Trustee Colton Crane thanked everyone for coming and updating the board on the progress and results of the grant money. He said often the board backs projects but then doesn’t get to hear how it’s working.