By Ernie Over

Staff Writer

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office was pretty busy this past year, but Sheriff Ryan Lee said the number of calls received, at 7,174, was close to the calls for service his office had in 2021. Lee presented the current staffing report at Tuesday’s county commission meeting, saying that all positions are full in his patrol division and that he is on target with his budget at the halfway mark of the fiscal year. “The staffing seems to have turned around as we’re receiving more qualified candidates now.” He also noted not as many candidates are washing out as in previous years.

Lee told the board that there were 211 bookings into the county’s detention center during December. Most of the bookings came from the Riverton Police Department with 96 followed by the Sheriff’s Office with 60, the Lander Police Department with 40 and the Wyoming Highway Patrol with 10. The U.S. Marshal’s office accounted for five of the bookings. There were no bookings from the Shoshoni Police Department.

Of the 156 current inmates, as of Tuesday, 93 were men, 61 were women, three were juveniles and one was at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston. Of those incarcerated, Lee said 60 inmates had their cases adjudicated and were now serving sentences while 102 inmates had not yet been sentenced in court.

Lee said he had opening for five deputies in the Detention Center and that many applicants were in the background check phase. He also noted there was one opening for a nurse, and one candidate for that position was also in the background check phase. He said there were also openings for two civilian controllers, with two in the background stage. 

At the Emergency Dispatch Center, Lee said he is down six positions with five temporary and part-time people working there to cover all the shifts. He said three potential dispatchers are in the background phase.

The Ssheriff reported that the county recorded one fatality in search and rescue (SAR) missions, which he said numbers 24 this year, the same number as last year at this time. The grand total of SAR missions for the calendar year was 32, compared with 31 in calendar year 2021. Lee said that with the latest weather systems dumping snow on the county, the Jeffrey City Volunteer Fire Department has been assisting his office with calls for stranded motorists and such in that area, help which he said was very much appreciated. There’s lot of blowing and drifting snow in the Jeffrey City area, he said. 

The commissioners had one report on a crash involving one of the sheriff’s prisoner transfer vehicles which struck a sally port, backing into it. Damage was estimated at $6,331. Commissioners approved repair of the vehicle.