Over 999,000 readers this year!

Sheriff Kozak calls for Denver officers: Work where cops are funded

New billboard in Denver advertising for the Laramie County Sheriff's Office. (Courtesy LCSO)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In a striking move during National Police Week, Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak has extended a bold invitation to Denver’s law enforcement officers. Frustrated by Denver’s $8 million cut in police funding, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office has erected a billboard in downtown Denver.

This billboard encourages Denver officers to consider relocating, stating, “Work in Wyoming where breaking the law is still illegal and cops are funded!”

In an announcement on Facebook, LCSO claims that “National media reported the City of Denver … decided to defund the police $8 million to fund immigrant shelters and restrict the ability for cops to enforce traffic laws, such as expired plates or safety equipment violations.”

The claim that Denver reallocated police funding to support immigrant shelters and limit traffic law enforcement could not be confirmed. However, the Denver Gazette on April 22 reported that the City Council took $8.4 million of the police department’s funding, or 1.9%. Those funds came from delaying furniture purchases, reallocating funds for finding a new Denver Police Department Mounted Patrol home, shifting police academy costs to the airport and not filling vacant positions, a move that was made city-wide.

Kozak said Colorado law enforcement feel defunded based on his talks with officers recently recruited from the area, and he is looking to capitalize on that.

“The law enforcement are discouraged due to policy and law changes in Colorado, we decided to take advantage of that,” he said. “We enjoy great community support here in Wyoming and the law enforcement in Colorado don’t feel that way.”

The LCSO is actively recruiting, seeking to fill eight patrol and 16 detention center positions.

LCSO’s recruitment strategy this fiscal year has included $40,000 in advertising, encompassing billboards, digital marketing and participation in various recruiting fairs. This aggressive marketing push follows a successful recruitment of officers from Denver last year.

With 72 new hires last year, LCSO processed 1,500 applications to find candidates who could meet its stringent requirements.

“Our goal is to be fully staffed by the end of the calendar year,” Kozak said. This initiative not only aims to bolster the ranks but also to reduce the department’s overtime budget, which currently stands at $1.3 million, according to Kozak.