When someone becomes a police officer, they begin a career of service to their community. They run in when others are running out. They face the guns pointed at them, instead of hiding under a desk, like many of us would do. Still, all that does not really determine what kind of a police officer they will become. When my brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock, and my sister, Allyn were living in Fort Morgan, Colorado, Chris was in sales, but he knew that that was not what he wanted to do with his life. He told Allyn that he just didn’t want to do sales anymore. It wasn’t rewarding. He said that he didn’t think he could be a doctor, but he wanted to help people…he wanted to be a police officer. After the initial shock, and yes to a degree fear, wore off, Allyn agreed that it was what he needed to do. So began a long and rewarding career in law enforcement.
Chris became a deputy sheriff in 1990, when he joined the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department. After a time, he had the opportunity to join the Casper Police Department, and in 1997, he became a patrolman with the CPD. Chris loved his career. He was in his element and he was very good at what he did. I had the opportunity on several occasions, to ride along with him, and I watched as he was able to quickly de-escalate a situation, and in the end, the person he was arresting was not only cooperative, but in some cases, thanked him for making the arrest as painless as possible. Now, as we all know, not every situation works out that well, but those that did were truly amazing. Over the years, Chris has tested for and been promoted to Sergeant and then, Lieutenant, which is the rank he currently holds. He has been a hiring and training officer, shift supervisor, and is currently over Investigations, Victim Services, Operations Support Team, and Property Evidence.
Last night, the culmination of all his years of service, was recognized by the Wyoming Peace Officers Association at their annual banquet, held in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We, his family are so proud to announce that Chris Hadlock was awarded the Wyoming Peace Officer of the Year award. To receive this award, the candidate must be nominated. Chris was the nominee for the Casper Police Department, and based on his long standing law enforcement career and his continual service to the public, first as a deputy and then as a police officer, Chris won the award. He and Allyn had their picture taken with the Governor of Wyoming, Matt Meade, and the president of the Wyoming Peace Officers Association, Tom Stoker. Chris also received an engraved plaque, and will be receiving an engraved revolver. Then, in May, he and Allyn will travel to Washington DC for National Police Week. They will attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service which commemorates fallen officers.
Chris says that this is such an honor, and he feels very humbled by it. We can’t think of anyone who could possibly deserve it more. Once the decision was made to become a police officer, Chris never looked back. It was his dream career and he would never think of doing anything else. For him, it isn’t just a career. It goes back to that original desire, “I want to help people.” A police officer has parts of his job that are necessary, but not really fun, such as issuing citations, but when you are the first on the scene at an accident, and someone is in serious need, and you save a life…it just doesn’t get better than that. When you are instrumental in getting people out of a dangerous situation, and lives are saved…that’s what it’s all about. That is what Chris meant when he said he wanted to help people, and that is what he has done. Congratulations to Lieutenant Christopher Hadlock, Wyoming’s Peace Officer of the Year!! We are so very proud of you!! Thank you for your years of service!!