Casper City Council Voices Support For Officer Jacob Carlson
The fallout from the two news conferences Tuesday about the city and Casper Police officer Jacob Carlson's future landed gently prior to the Casper City Council met for its regular meeting later that day.
Mayor Ray Pacheco affirmed the council's support for Carlson, who was gravely wounded during a gun fight on May 6, spent a month at the Wyoming Medical Center, and continues to recover from his wounds.
"We wanted to make abundantly clear as a council that we are unequivocally and a 100 percent behind officer Carlson," Pacheco said.
"We wanted to make sure that we handled the situation with officer Carlson with not only the dignity that he deserves, but the compassion that he needs as a police officer and a person that gave almost the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The council also fully supports the Casper Police Department and Chief Keith McPheeters, Pacheco said. "It is also important to understand the level of compassion that our chief has and much of what he worries about and what he cares about."
McPheeters wants to make sure that Carlson has the best care, he said.
"This City of Casper has shown the greatest of itself, not only from the event down at David Street Station, but also at the (Conwell) Park when we all went down there," Pacheco said. "This is a great and beautiful community that cares deeply."
Tuesday morning, City Manager Carter Napier responded to allegations from Carlson's attorney Don Fuller that McPheeters demanded in a letter dated Aug. 14 that Carlson return to work despite medical advice to the contrary.
Tuesday afternoon, McPheeters responded to the criticism. He talked to Carlson, and in the belief that his release was imminent, he realized he had not fully communicated with Carlson and he would keep him on administrative leave.
Despite the two news conferences and Pacheco's comments before the meeting began, no one spoke about the issue. Tuesday, City Council changed its meeting format for public comments at the beginning of meetings instead of waiting until other business is finished.