casper police department

My grand-niece, Aurora Hadlock is such a sweet, happy girl. She has a zest for life, and most often sees the good in everything. Her positive outlook on life always keeps her upbeat. This year with it’s long Covid Summer has given people lots of extra time to spend together, and when the quarantine lifted, the family began doing a lot of camping and four wheeling. The family has traveled to the Black Hills twice this year, and Aurora’s favorite site is Mount Rushmore…a favorite of mine too. The Black Hills is a family favorite place.

Aurora wants to be a police officer when she grows up. She comes by this decision naturally, because her grandpa, Chris Hadlock is a retired Casper Police officer, and her uncle, Jason Sawdon is a Wyoming Highway Patrolman. Being a police officer is a noble calling, and her desire to help people is inspiring. She wants to keep the public safe, and I really respect that. She may only be 9 years old, but this career decision has been with her for a long time. She had the opportunity recently to sit on the motorcycle of a Casper Police officer, and she was so excited about it.

Aurora is very excited about going back to school. Like many children, who were thrust into unexpected online learning, Aurora did not like it at all. The coming year has left her a little bit apprehensive, however, because her big brother, Ethan will not be in her school. He has moved on to middle school. Another missing face is will be that of her great aunt, Alena Steven, who retired at the end of last term. Nevertheless, Aurora is tough, and she will tackle it head on. I’m sure that by the end of the first week, she will be totally fine with the coming year.

Aurora is an artist, and wants to start her own business, selling her paintings and drawings. This is also a goal she comes by naturally, as her mom, Chelsea, who has a business of her own selling jewelry of her own design at the Comic Con Conventions. Starting your own business is not an easy thing to do, so having the experience of her mom and her successful business will be a great help. Aurora’s dad, Ryan has been helping her with a special project…but that is not finished yet, so I’m not going to give it away. That will be a story for next year, and one I am looking forward to sharing. Today is Aurora’s 9th birthday. Happy birthday Aurora!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

For the past 27 years, my brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has been a peace officer. He spent the first seven years as a deputy for the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, and the last twenty years as a police officer for the Casper Police Department. All that has come to and end now, as Chris retires from service. For me, as for most of his family, it is a very strange thought. We have identified Chris as a police officer for so long, that it’s almost as if we have to figure out who he is now. I know that is often the case with any retiree, no matter what field, but some changes seem bigger than others. When my husband, Bob Schulenberg retired, his identity went with him. He was a mechanic, and he still is a mechanic. His location just changed. That’s what happened when Chris switched from the sheriff’s department to the Casper police department…different location, but the same job. For Chris all that will change now, as he begins his new career in sales. It will be a big change, but I believe it will be a good change.

Chris served the people of Natrona County and the city of Casper for 27 years, and that is an amazing feat for a man in law enforcement. Law enforcement is a demanding occupation, both physically and emotionally, and 27 years is a long time to take that kind of abuse. The physical part of it is hard enough…running after people, jumping fences without knowing exactly what is on the other side, forcing their way into places where criminals are trying to keep them out, and pulling people out of cars and other places they have been trapped in…just to name a few. The emotional strain is far worse, in my opinion. Whenever an officer goes out on a call, they must almost force their adrenalin into high gear. I could say that one type of call is worse than another, but in reality, every call has the potential to reach a flashpoint…that moment, when communication breaks down, and the situation explodes. What might seem to be a simply traffic stop, suddenly puts officer against perpetrator, and sparks fly. Having gone on ride-alongs with Chris, I can say that I have seen those points a time or two. I can also say that my brother-in-law has an uncanny ability to de-escalate a situation better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

Chris is not retiring outright, but is rather going to go to work for Comcast in their sales department. He will be working in the area of police radios and such, so it’s really right up his alley. While it is going to be a big change for Chris, as well as my sister, Allyn and their kids, it is really the best move for him. Like a caregiver, the stress of his occupation could have, at some point become detrimental to his health. Yes, you can take care of yourself, but stress is stress, and it’s hard to avoid when your job demands it. There just comes a time when you know that it’s time to move on, and that was were Chris was, so once he was at the point of being vested, he knew it was his time to move. This really is a very positive move for Chris, and I wish him well in all his future ventures. Chris, we the people of Casper and Natrona County thank you for you years of faithful service. We congratulate you on your retirement. On now to new adventures!! We love you!!

imageimageYesterday in Casper, Wyoming, the Burlington Northern San Francisco Railway hosted a very special event. It was a train ride for the area’s first responders and their family’s. What an amazing thing to do for those people who are out there every day, often putting their lives on the line, to save those in need. My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock is one of those first responders, as is his son-in-law, Jason Sawdon. Chris is a Lieutenant with the Casper Police Department and Jason is a patrolman with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, and I happen to know that they have been the first responders to some pretty awful crash scenes, and I hate to even think of some of the things they have seen. Nevertheless, when they show up at the scene, people feel comforted. Help has arrived, and they are glad.

The event, hosted by BNSF Railway, was to honor the police and fire departments in the city. These people the ones we count on to come to the rescue no matter what the situation, and many people would not be here today, were it not for those first responders. The train ride left from Casper, and went out just past the Dave imageimageJohnston Power Plant outside of Glenrock. Chris and Jason were able to bring their family members on the trip, so my sister, Allyn Hadlock; niece, Jessi Sawdon; niece Kellie Hadlock; nephew Ryan Hadlock, his wife Chelsea and their children Ethan and Aurora all got to go along. Allyn told me that the passenger cars were beautiful and comfortable, and they had snacks like hot dogs, chips, and drinks. There was also a souvenier shop, so they all bought BNSF drinking cups. She told me that there were a total of at least 15 cars full of people, and they all had a wonderful time. For my niece Jessi, the trip held a special memory. Her grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer used to take her out to see the Amtrak trains in Fort Morgan, Colorado, when she lived there as a child. He and her grandma, my mom, Collene Spencer would have loved this for sure.

“BNSF’s First Responder Express is a signature program recognizing the broad service and accomplishments of these very special community contributors.” according to Joe Faust, regional director of public affairs. I think it is an awesome way to honor a group of people who are so often overlooked until we need them that is, and imageimageeven then, many people almost look at them in the same way as they would a sales person…like it’s just a job. It really isn’t just a job. These people really care about helping others, and they are willing to put their life on the line to save the life of another person. I think the First Responder Express program is a wonderful thing for BNSF Railway to do, and I personally want to thank all the first responders for their service to their communities. And to our first responders, Chris Hadlock and Jason Sawdon…thank you both for all you do. Your service to this community is an amazing blessing. We love you both!!

ChrisIn a time when our police officers are being randomly attacked, I think it is important to remember just who it is that comes running in to protect those in need of assistance. Police officers have such a complicated job. Part of the people they come in contact with are in need of their assistance, and when they are, they are grateful for the help. The other part of the people are the criminal side, and they are the ones, of course, who hate the cops. And unfortunately, sometimes the lines get very blurred. There are people in need of help, but they don’t want that help, and those who the cops are arresting or giving a ticket to, who then steps in the assist the very police officer who was arresting them. Those situations are really quite surprising…amazingly so.

Nevertheless, I can see how being a police officer would be a difficult occupation. When the good guys can turn into the bad guys, and the bad guys can turn into the good guys, it creates a situation whereby an officer just doesn’t know what to expect going into any situation. Still, they go into those situations, knowing the possible perils, but knowing too that the work they do is important.

Many people don’t really give much thought to the life of a police officer, but when you have two of them in your very close family, you just naturally feel differently about them. You know their hearts and you know their level of integrity. They aren’t just a random police officer, but rather, they are family, and you love them. That is the situation in my family. We have two police officers in our midst. Leutenant Chris Hadlock, of the Casper Police Department, and State Trooper Jason Sawdon of the Wyoming Highway imagePatrol, are both exceptional officers. I’m sure that is why my family and I take personal offense when someone decides that police officers are not important. There are many times when any of us could be in a really bad place, were it not for a police officer. So the next time you are stopped for speeding, and you are tempted to be angry about it, remember…you were speeding, and they officer is just doing his or her job. Any time we break the law, we are a risk for others…people, just like us, who that officer has sworn an oath to protect. Swallow that anger, and take your medicine. You deserve it. Today is a day to honor our police officers. Thank you Chris and Jason, and the officers in the Casper area and the nation. We appreciate your service. Police lives matter. Thank a police officer today.

ChrisMy brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock had been a law enforcement officer since the early to mid-1990s. He started out in the Natrona County Sheriff’s office, and later transferred to the Casper Police Department in 1997. He quickly became one of the up and coming officers. I’m sure that when it came to arrests, his 6’4″ stature didn’t hurt matters any. Most of the people he was about to arrest took one look at him and changed their mind about putting up a fight. I do say most of them. There were a few crazy people who truly thought they could fight their way out of the situation, and manage to get away. Right…rethink that one people. It’s just not going to happen.

Over the years Chris’ abilities have been noticed by his superiors, and Chris was encouraged to take the Sergeants exam, which he passed with ease. That promotion put Chris in charge of the officers on his shift. He was the go to person for certain situations that might come up, and the final say during the hours of the shift and on things like who patrols where and such.image

This past year has brought Chris to a new place in his career. He took the Lieutenants exam and once again, passed with ease. This promotion put him in charge of investigations. I think this has been one of the most exciting parts of his career. It is an entirely new kind of work, and the perfect challenge for him. Chris likes the workings of this new department and the detectives who are under him. I can understand that, because investigative work is interesting to me too, although I don’t think I could do Chris’ job. It takes a special person to be able to do that work, and that is what my brother-in-law is. He is enjoying this, the next adventure very much.

This past year has also found Chris, and his wife, my sister, Allyn busy remodeling their basement. This is imageanother type of work that Chris is really good at. His attention to detail, and his ability to see the big picture really serve him well when it comes to carpentry, as many people have seen in the to work he has done for others. Everything from banisters to chain saw carved bears. His artistic talents are evident.

This birthday will find Chris and Allyn on vacation in Montana. Allyn thinks Chris is a lot like our dad when it comes to traveling. He loves to get out and pull the trailer behind them and see the countryside. It gives him the chance to relax after a long winter of hard work. I know they will have a great time. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

IMG_5242IMG_5243Our family has long been proud of my brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock’s outstanding career as a police officer, first for the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, and then beginning in 1997, for the Casper Police Department. Years ago, while working in sales, Chris found himself disenchanted with how that career was going, and saw it as basically a dead end road for him. He told my sister, Allyn that he didn’t think medicine or paramedic work was for him, but he had a desire to help people, and he really thought he could do so as a police officer. It was a big step, and one that my sister wasn’t sure she wanted him to take, but for Chris, it has been the best move he could have made. At that time, the family was living in Pueblo, Colorado, so they made the move back to Casper, and he began pursuing his chosen career.

Not everyone is cut out to be a cop…either because of their temperament or their ability to handle the situations that can some up as an officer of the law, but Chris was the best candidate for the job. He is level headed, especially under pressure, and at 6’4″ tall, he is a daunting presence to anyone considering the foolish act of resisting arrest. Even with his ability to strong arm a perpetrator, Chris is always considerate of their feelings, and often that is all it takes to calm an agitated situation without the use of force. I know this, because on numerous occasions I have taken the opportunity to ride along when he was working, and have IMG_5276IMG_5246seen him in action. I’ve watched him keep his cool, when the person he was up against obviously had a gun, and Chris was able to defuse the situation, and apprehend the man without incident.

Chris worked as one of the school officers following so many school shootings and other school related issues around our country. It made many parents feel much better about sending their children to school, knowing that the police would be there to make sure it was a safer environment. Before long, the Casper Police Department saw the leadership skills Chris had, and they promoted him to sergeant. Of course, this was not without action on Chris’ part, because to qualify for the promotions the department offers, Chris had to take a test, which he passed with flying colors. Chris did very well in the supervisory positions that being a sergeant entailed, and was so well respected, that he was offered the position of training officer. This led to the time when Chris was involved in recruiting and training the new recruits. Toward the end of his career as a Sergeant, Chris worked as a Detective Sergeant in investigations.

Friday marked the next step in a long and successful career for my brother-in-law, when he was honored as the newest Lieutenant for the Casper Police Department. His new position will place him in charge of the sergeants in Investigations. It is a position that Casper’s police chief has wanted to place Chris in for some time, and so IMG_5278IMG_5306expressed in his speech at the ceremony. Then, the long anticipated big moment arrived, when my sister, Allyn Hadlock, Chris’ wife, as given the great privilege of pinning on the shiny lieutenant’s bars and the new shield. The journey Chris has taken is a remarkable one, and we, his family are so very proud of him. He is looking forward to the next part of his career as a peace officer, and I know he will excel at it too. We all want to wish him the very best as he begins this new phase. Chris, we are so very proud of you, and all you have accomplished. Congratulations!! We love you!!

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