EXPERIENCED, EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP FOR SWEETWATER COUNTY
I have partnered with citizens, businesses, and local agencies to build a safer community. We will continue to keep families safer by utilizing the National Incident Management System for major community events, such as the Sweetwater County Fair . I will continue to partner with school districts and the community college to improve our Standard Response Protocol to help create a safer learning environment and leverage our volunteers to boost educational and outreach programs.
Committed to Shared Values
I believe our leadership should reflect our values. I have a proven track record defending 2nd Amendment rights and advocating for better protection at our nation's southern border. I am passionate about community service and participating in programs that benefit our region, such as Run with the Badges for the YWCA Center for Families and Children, Rock Springs Kiwanis Club Shop with a Cop, Law Enforcement Torch Run and Jackalope Jump for Special Olympics.
Fiscal Responsibility Through Crime Prevention
When we invest in crime prevention, we can save taxpayer dollars on prosecution and response. I will advocate for a treatment court, a 24/7 Program, Intervention Jail Programs, Community-Oriented Outreach, Crisis Intervention Team Training, as well as grant applications for programs designed to reduce speeding, distracted driving and DUIs.
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A Letter from Dwane
My name is Dwane Pacheco. This is my formal announcement to seek the office of the Sheriff of Sweetwater County. I have been a resident of Sweetwater County for fifty-four years, a retired Air Force Reserve Veteran and recently retired Rock Springs Police Chief with over 31 years of service, 8 years leading the agency.
I am seeking this office to establish a Sheriff’s Office that will reconnect with all citizens of Sweetwater County with a proven leadership style focused on relationships which develop partnerships and build trust.
Fiscal responsibility is a must during these economic times and I will focus efforts on obtaining grants. Highway Safety, DUI, Speed Detail and Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Grants will pay our deputies overtime wages for keeping our county roads and highways safe.
We will attract volunteers for our Search and Rescue Ground Team, Search and Rescue Dive Team and Emergency Management Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Volunteers are force multipliers whose time must be used wisely. Proper training, planning and resource allocations will give our teams the best opportunity for success.
Children are our future and must be safe while attending school. One of my initial focuses as police chief included a collaborative effort with Sweetwater School District 1. We implemented the Standard Response Protocol safety plan. All students and employees of the district are familiar with the plan along with school resource officers. There are numerous no notice drills throughout the year at all schools. These drills will vary from lockdowns to lockouts and at times evacuation and reunification. The safety plan has also been picked up by Western Wyoming Community College and private businesses.
In 2006, as a newly promoted Commander, I was tasked with security at Sweetwater County’s Big Show. We partnered with local county and state law enforcement along with the Sweetwater Combined Communications Center and used the Incident Command System model to provide security at the event. This event plan has been modified over the years, from its meager beginnings where we dispatched from the back of an enclosed cargo trailer, to use of the County’s mobile command center. This collaborative effort has lowered arrests at the event from over 50 arrests during the event to less than 5 arrests this past year. Additionally, efforts continue to be made to partner with the Sweetwater County Fair Board and Sweetwater Events Complex staff regarding responsible event planning where alcohol is served. I look forward to building relationships with Sweetwater School District 2, Industry leaders and outlying communities, landowners as well as our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. Personnel are our most valuable asset at the Sheriff’s office and I will strive to ensure the needs of the employees are addressed and action plans developed. Communication is vital to the office and I will continue to elicit feedback from the line level staff all the way to the mid-level managers on issues important to them. I will lobby the commission to ensure my deputies are paid a fair wage and benefit package commensurate with other agencies in the area.
I will continue a practice I began with the police department eight years ago, known as Chief’s Call. I will have a Sheriff’s Call with the entire agency twice a year, one formal meeting at the beginning of the year and a second meeting after the budget is set. Sheriff's call ensures every Sheriff's Office member, sworn deputy and civilian hears the mission, vision and values for the agency as well as yearly goals from their Sheriff. Each sworn deputy will also recite the oath of honor on an annual basis during the formal Sheriff’s Call and there will also be an opportunity for our employees to set agenda items. This is a great time to recognize accomplishments of the Sheriff's Office and touch on important issues in this everchanging law enforcement landscape.
We will establish a leadership committee which will be composed of both sworn and non-sworn employees of the Sheriff's Office. The leadership committee will be used as a communication tool with their leadership team and a way to ensure politics are kept out of the awards recommendations and selections. My past leadership committee established an employee of the quarter, employee of the year, a service dress uniform, a uniform awards/ ribbon system, exterior vest carrier system and my personal favorite, a formal annual awards ceremony.
Safety of all employees is a priority and we will initiate a weekly electronic newsletter which focuses on safe practices on and off duty. The letter will recognize employee’s weekly accomplishments, employment anniversaries and birthdays, along with community involvement on and off duty. The jail system, as we know it, must be revamped to lower our recidivism rate. Jail based programming must improve and will include partnerships with local counseling services, Sweetwater County Prevention Coalition, local clergy, Sweetwater County Treatment Court and participation in the 24/7 Program. Jail inmates who are sentenced and trustees will be tasked with roadside cleanup, snow removal and other needed community tasks.
I am an appointed member to the Governor Gordon’s Council on Impaired Driving and the numbers we received during the pandemic have been staggering. Alcohol sales increased 40% during Covid and blood alcohol concentrations for arrestees for DUI increased dramatically. I have spoken to our Circuit Court Judges and Municipal Court Judges who all wish to participate in the 24/7 program, which is a statutorily established program that keeps second or subsequent DUI offenders and those violators whose crime has an alcohol nexus out of jail while navigating the justice system. Teton County and Campbell County were the only counties who continued their 24/7 program throughout the pandemic. It was reported that Campbell County saved $30,000 on one inmate who was ordered by a judge to the 24/7 program. That person ultimately served jail time, but was out of jail until his incarceration date. The 24/7 program saves taxpayers money and has lowered domestic violence and violent crime rates. I have been a member of the Sweetwater Treatment Court Team since 2006 as a Commander and the Sweetwater Treatment Court Foundation for the past eight years as Police Chief. My affiliation and support of prevention efforts will remain strong as your Sheriff. I am convinced we cannot arrest our way out of this drug and alcohol crisis.
The RSPD led the efforts on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. The purpose of CIT is to create a community response for people experiencing crisis . We partnered with Southwest Counseling, Sweetwater Prevention Coalition and the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County to bring a 40 hour CIT training to first responders. To date, 45 first responders have received CIT training and the goal is to hold a class every 6 months.
We must provide better jail services to our law enforcement partners. Our law enforcement partners are paying customers for jail services and as such, we must provide a service that is accommodating to allow the officers to get their prisoners booked and back to their respective jurisdictions to fight crime. A Sweetwater County Community Policing effort, led by my team will encourage all of our employees to volunteer in their respective communities to make a difference. I started a Run with the Chief 5K and 10K Run/ Walk eight years ago to raise money for the YWCA Center for Families and Children. The run grew to Run with the Chiefs when retired Green River Police Chief, Chris Steffen, wished to participate. We changed the title to its current name, Run with the Badges, when all first responders asked to participate and raise money for the center. This year, the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office asked to partner in recognition of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. I am proud to say we have raised approximately $25,000 for the center over the years.
Youth programs are vital to our community policing effort and examples of past efforts to connect with our youth include a partnership with the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Education Services for Camp FEAT (Family, Education, Attitude, Transition) which is a camp for high school aged students, RSPD Junior Police Academy and the community led effort of Life R U Ready? I will continue to serve on the 21st Century Community Learning Center Advisory Council.
I have been heavily involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the past 20 years. Special Olympics Wyoming selected me to represent Wyoming at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2019. This past February, I helped organize the 3rd Annual Jackalope Jump. The three events have raised over $29,000 for Special Olympics Wyoming.
I am a lifelong volunteer in our community. I coached Little League Baseball and Young American Football League for my sons. My son and I are currently coaching a rookies baseball team for my grandson. For years I served on the United Way of Southwest Wyoming’s Allocation Committee and Executive Board before timing out as the Board President. While serving on the executive board of the United Way of Southwest Wyoming, we were the original pass through for funding for the Boys and Girls Club of Sweetwater County. This club met one of our targeted community needs and has been a success. Furthermore, I have served as the Knights of Columbus Past Grand Knight and current financial secretary, The Bluffs Homeowners Association President and Rock Springs Police Protective Association past President. I volunteered for the annual Rock Springs Kiwanis Shop with a Cop event for the past 20+ years.
Governor Gordon appointed me to the Wyoming Gaming Commission and to the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving. I was appointed by Governor Mead and Governor Gordon to the Wyoming Public Safety Communications Commission. In October 2021, an 800mhz Wyolink site went live and allowed in building portable radio coverage for the first time in the history of the Rock Springs Police Department. A second Wyolink site was built on 14 Mile Hill and will allow interoperable communications for the Farson/ Killpecker Sand Dunes Recreation Area. Each of these towers cost approximately $1.7 million dollars for a total of $3.4 million. Both towers were part of a 16 tower buildout statewide to enhance interoperable communications.
I served as President of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCOP) from 2021-2022. While leading WASCOP I sent a letter of support to our United States Congressional Delegation from Wyoming regarding immigration and border security. I sent a letter supporting Senate File 102, Second Amendment Protection Act to our Wyoming State Legislators and testified in both Wyoming Senate and House Joint Judiciary Committees in support of the bill.
I served 4 ½ years active duty in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Law Enforcement Specialist. I enlisted in the Air Force Reserve (USAFR) in 1990 and was activated after 9/11/2001 for a one year active duty tour by presidential orders for Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom. I retired from the USAFR in 2007.
I hold a professional Wyoming Peace Officer certification with 31 years of experience, Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, SWAT Team Supervisor, Division Commander, SWAT Team Commander, Police Chief with approximately 3,000 hours of formal training. I have successfully managed an agency averaging 60 personnel and a combined Police/ Animal Control budget of approximately $10,000,0000. I am a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, 201st Session, in 2000. I am a member of the American Legion Archie Hay Post 24; Lifetime member of the Rock Springs Police Department Police Protective Association; Lifetime member of the Wyoming Peace Officers Association; FBI National Academy Associates Rocky Mountain Chapter; FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association; International Association of Chiefs of Police; Lifetime member of the NRA; Past member of the Sweetwater Combined Communications Center Joint Powers Board; Past member of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Board.
I am married with two adult children who work for industry in Sweetwater County and a daughter who will be a high school senior next school year.
I look forward to meeting with the citizens of our county and earning your vote for the office of Sweetwater County Sheriff.
Experienced, Effective Leadership for Sweetwater County.