CASPER POLICE CHIEF CHIEF JIM WETZEL TOLD REPORTERS WEDNESDAY MORNING THAT THE CASPER POLICE DEPARTMENT IS SHARPLY DIVIDED FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF A SURVEY IN WHICH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES CRITICIZED THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP.

IN RESPONDING TO A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE LODGE NO. 6, DOZENS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES SAID THEY WERE SEEKING OTHER EMPLOYMENT AND PLACED THE BLAME AT WETZEL’S FEET.

DESPITE THE RELEASE OF THE SURVEY TO NEWS MEDIA AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS AT LAST WEEK’S MEETING OF CASPER CITY COUNCIL -- NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT HE IS LISTED AS AN ADDRESSEE ON THE SURVEY’S COVER LETTER -- WETZEL SAYS HE STILL DOES NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL COPY OF THE SURVEY.

THE ONLY VERSION HE DOES HAVE, WETZEL SAYS, IS A COPY OF SURVEY RESULTS GIVEN TO HIM BY A MEDIA OUTLET WHICH RECEIVED THE SURVEY FROM MAYOR KENYNE HUMPHREY.

WETZEL SAID HE WILL CONTINUE TO TRY AND HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SURVEY WITH LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE. LODGE NO. 6 HAS NOT RESPONDED TO REQUESTS FOR COMMENT.

WETZEL TOLD REPORTERS HE TAKES THE SURVEY AT FACE VALUE AND IS MOVING TO ADDRESS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS MADE BY RESPONDENTS, NOTING THAT SOME CONCERNS RAISED BY SURVEY RESPONDENTS ARE ISSUES HE SIMPLY CAN’T RESOLVE.

WETZEL SAID THE BIG CHALLENGE FOR THE DEPARTMENT WILL BE MOVING FORWARD AND MENDING, SO THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT REMAIN FRACTURED.

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AN EMAIL RELEASED WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO SELECT MEMBERS OF CASPER'S NEWS MEDIA RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT A RECENT SURVEY OF THE CASPER POLICE DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS HOW THE RESULTS OF THAT SURVEY HAVE BEEN HANDLED BY MAYOR KENYNE HUMPHREY, CHIEF OF POLICE JIM WETZEL AND CITY MANAGER V.H. MCDONALD.

IN THE EMAIL, WARD II COUNCILMAN SHAWN JOHNSON CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE BY WETZEL DURING A PRESS BRIEFING EARLIER WEDNESDAY.

THE SURVEY CONDUCTED BY FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE , IN WHICH SWORN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT CASTIGATE WETZEL'S LEADERSHIP, WAS BROUGHT TO LIGHT BY HUMPHREY AT LAST TUESDAY'S COUNCIL MEETING. LATER THAT NIGHT, WETZEL TOLD K2 RADIO THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE SURVEY UNTIL A FEW MINUTES BEFORE THE MEETING BEGAN.

WETZEL SAID HE WAS BLINDSIDED AT THE MEETING AND STILL, EIGHT DAYS LATER, HAS NOT BEEN PROVIDED AN OFFICIAL COPY OF THE SURVEY.

JOHNSON, IN HIS EMAIL, REFUTES THAT CLAIM.

HE SAYS HE WAS ADVISED BY THE FOP THAT THEY ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT WETZEL SEVERAL TIMES AND HE REFUSED TO TALK TO THEM.

JOHNSON THEN SAID THE FOP TOLD HIM THE REPORT THAT WAS TO BE GIVEN TO THE CHIEF IS STILL ON THE CITY MANAGER'S DESK AND THAT THE CHIEF WAS TEXTED ABOUT COMING TO PICK IT UP AND HE NEVER DID.

ACCORDING TO JOHNSON, THE FOP FIRST APPROACHED HUMPHREY WITH THE SURVEY RESULTS. THEY REPORTEDLY ASKED TO SEE ALL OF COUNCIL, BUT JOHNSON SAYS THAT REQUEST WAS DENIED, AND HE WAS TOLD HUMPHREY WOULD PASS THE SURVEY ALONG.

JOHNSON SAYS FOP MEMBERS ASKED HUMPHREY TO NOT RELEASE THE SURVEY TO THE MEDIA. THE SURVEY, OF COURSE, WAS RELEASED BEFORE LAST TUESDAY'S COUNCIL MEETING -- BEFORE, JOHNSON SAYS, COUNCIL MEMBERS EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO REVIEW IT.

JOHNSON ALSO PLACES BLAME WITH CITY MANAGER V.H. MCDONALD, WHO ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK HIS RETIREMENT EFFECTIVE JUNE 1.

"THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE HAS ABSOLUTELY FAILED US, FAILED THE CITY AND FAILED THE EMPLOYEES," JOHNSON WRITES.

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A BAR NUNN MAN ACCUSED OF KICKING DOWN A NEIGHBOR’S DOOR AND BEATING AN ELDERLY COUPLE HAS BEEN FOUND COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL.

NATRONA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MICHAEL PATCHEN SAID AFTER A BRIEF COMPETENCY HEARING THAT WILLIAM QUILLIN WILL APPEAR FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING NEXT WEEK TO DETERMINE IF HIS CASE SHOULD BE BOUND OVER FOR TRIAL.

QUILLIN IS CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF AGGRAVATED ROBBERY AND TWO COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.

MEANWHILE, HIS ACCOMPLICE SHARON MARIE HINKLE, RECENTLY PLEADED NOT GUILTY AND NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF MENTAL ILLNESS OR DEFICIENCY TO ONE CHARGE OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT AGGRAVATED BURGLARY AND ONE CHARGE OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.

THE CASE BEGAN FEBRUARY 8, WHEN QUILLIN AND HINKLE ALLEGEDLY KICKED IN THEIR NEIGHBOR’S DOOR IN BAR NUNN AND DEMANDED THE NEIGHBORS TURN OVER A SAFE.

THE ELDERLY NEIGHBORS SAID THEY DIDN’T HAVE A SAFE.

QUILLIN ALLEGEDLY ATTACKED THEM.

SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES LATER FOUND QUILLIN AND HINKLE AT HINKLE’S HOUSE NEARBY, AND THE TWO GAVE THEMSELVES UP SHORTLY THE NEXT MORNING AFTER AN ALL-NIGHT STANDOFF.

QUILLIN REMAINS IN CUSTODY ON ONE-AND-A- HALF MILLION DOLLARS BOND.