Police Chief Takes Oath of Office [AUDIO]
Casper's police chief was sworn into office at City Hall Tuesday morning. Chris Walsh had been acting police chief since Tom Pagel retired in late March, but now it's official, Police Chief Chris Walsh took his oath of office from City Manager John Patterson.
Chief Walsh said that police chief has been an aspiration of his since he first joined the Casper Police Department, sitting across the desk from then Police Chief Fred Rainguet (rain' gae) in 1990.
Made good on his word of destiny:
"A little over 20 years ago, when I was interviewed by the police chief at the time, when I was just trying to get the job here, I sat in the very office I've got now, and he said, "Where do you see yourself in 20 years?" I said his chair looked pretty comfortable, so about that long."
When asked to clarify his support for the City Council's move to ban open carry guns at Council meetings, Walsh said he doesn't advocate restricting gun ownership, but at government meetings, they could interfere with people being able to speak their minds.
Where guns can infringe true debate:
"Vast majority of Wyoming citizens, and citizens in general, are very responsible gun owners. They would never do anything dangerous with them, and then there's always the wildcards. But the other part is, there's a vast majority of citizens who are very intimidated by the presence of weapons, and they should be able to go in and feel free to have their voice. That should be a room for debate, free of any outside intimidating influences."
To explain those months Walsh was the interim police chief, Casper Mayor Paul Bertoglio said that the selection of Walsh was a no-brainer, in his opinion, but that decision was the call of the city manager.
Hire decisions belong to city manager:
"Ultimately, with the exception of the city attorney, the call as to who the department heads are, is the city manager's, so we really wanted to have the new city manager make the call as to whether or not we wanted to retain Chief Walsh as permanent, or if he wanted to go outside and look for somebody else."
City Manager Patterson said that his predecessor, Tom Forslund, expressed great confidence in Walsh, and so did the former chief Tom Pagel, and many others, so Patterson said he was proud to give Chief Walsh the oath of office.