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Riverton Police Department fills 8 positions, Mayor shows support by proclamation

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 10:58 PM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

The Riverton Police Department is swearing in four police officers and introducing four new service members at tonight’s city council meeting. The officers being sworn in are Taggart Harmelink, Preston Richardson, and Sean Tatro, with the Reserve Officer/Airport Police Officer Arnie Zertuche. The two dispatchers being introduced are Kaitlyn Girgen and Meagan Ayars. Evidence Technician Lisa Looper and Administrative Assistant Summer Cassady will also be introduced. These eight positions who are now on board the service and law enforcement team in Riverton, are filling a much needed gap.

One of the newly appointed officers, Sean Tatro stated, “You have to have a love for that, you have to know that you’re not going to be first. Maybe the first in a burning building, or the first one to get shot at, but you’re not going to be first for people to tell you ‘hey we like you, we’re happy.’ You kind of just have to understand that’s what it is. This career field is trying at times, but you’re around a group of guys, and some females, that love coming to work.”

Tatro is among the eight people being sworn in or introduced as part of the police force tonight. He noted it’s an important time to be in the medical field or to be a first responder in light of what’s happening with COVID.

“As we saw in the beginning of the year, a lot of people lost their jobs, were furloughed, they were put in a position where they couldn’t make ends meet. Obviously, we’re not going to be rich millionaires as police officers, but we’re always going to be needed, I think that’s important. That’s across the country, whether or not the community backs police officers, if you dial 911, you want somebody to show up,” noted Tatro.

Tatro said with some communities being torn apart in the nation, he didn’t want to look back and have any regrets about not helping in this time of need. He also noted that it’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t gone through life in the police force to understand what it’s like day in and day out. Although police officers at times must see the dark parts of the world while they protect and serve, they also want to show the good that goes along with it.

“We try to bring light to it. It’s the most important part because you don’t get to see that when the media portrays the dark side. It takes special people to say 'hey, I’m still going to put on my badge and my vest and go to work every day, knowing that I’m not going to be rich. I don’t think any of the police officers, and you could probably ask everyone here, they don’t come to work for the money. They come to work because it’s what we love to do," emphasized Tatro.

New members of the Riverton Police Department will be sworn in or introduced at the regular city council meeting at 7p.m. Also at that meeting, the mayor of Riverton Richard Gard is set to make a proclamation in support of the Riverton police officers. He was elected mayor in 2018, and says there hasn’t been a proclamation in support of the police yet. He and the council members believe now is an important time to show their support.

Gard stated, “We’ve been watching the national debate and the de-funding of police officers, and we don’t feel that way in the Riverton City Council. I’m fortunate to have a really supportive council that supports the police a lot. It’s not easy to be a police officer. I think anybody that’s aware of that, or even paying slight attention to what’s happening, should realize it’s difficult to be a police officer in today’s society.”

Mayor Gard says it’s a long process to get from hiring to actually starting the job with the tests and trainings required, so they are thankful the Riverton Police Department are now well staffed, for the time being.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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