The good news is, the Bad Apples are probably not Wyoming natives.
After the last American Chief of Police, Ric Paul, retired in January of 2005, he was replaced by Adriaens, an out-of-work former Deputy Chief from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Adriaens was quoted in a Michigan paper as saying, "It’s much different than Michigan, it’s a different mentality out here."
Well, it used to be a different mentality out here. Then Adriaens got in power and recruited police officers from Michigan, who then were only required to take a two-week class in Wyoming law, instead of the 13-week training at the Law Enforcement Academy that is typical for new recruits.
In less than two years 26 of 73 positions had changed, and the attrition rate was highest among the senior officers. The command staff had changed by 80%, according to an Associated Press, November 9, 2006. "...the real shift has been away from the older, longtime Campbell County residents who once made up the force." The AP article said.
The article went on to state "Adriaens is presiding over a department very different from the one he inherited."
"We're changing the same way our city's been changing," Adriaens said.
Gillette then became like Detroit, as far as law enforcement goes. Remember that comment, "It's a different mentality out here." Indeed. The mentality where Adriaens came from was in law enforcement in or near Detroit.
There was such brutality and corruption in the mentality he came from, that in 2003 the Mayor of Detroit requested Federal Oversight of the pattern of excessive force, civil rights abuses, and culture of covering up systemic misconduct.
Even under Federal Oversight, since 2008 the city of Detroit has paid tens of millions of dollars in judgments or settlements alleging police misconduct, including lawsuits alleging excessive force by officers, mistreatment of witnesses and unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
There is plenty of evidence that Hloucal has continued to foster an environment of corruption and cover-up since he took over from Adriaens in 2010, such as the evidence that was presented to the City Council members on 08-04-2020.
Is it time for the Gillette Mayor to call in the Feds for oversight of the Gillette Police Department, whose behavior is identical to the misconduct that prompted the Mayor of Detroit to call in the Feds in 2003? After all, Detroit is such a good example to follow.
By the way, what year did Wyoming pass the laws making corrupt officials immune to prosecution? I can't find that anywhere...
In 2022 the corrupt police chief Jim Hloucal retired, and we are hopeful that with the new police chief, Chuck Deaton (who was always known as one of the good guys), there will be an improvement in how the bad apples of law enforcment are handled in Gillette, Wyoming.