By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Police department cultivating community partnerships


Pine Bluffs police chief Robin Clark is excited about the growth she is seeing in partnerships around the community.

“We were one of the first departments to meet with our principals after the last school shooting to work on emergency evacuation plans,” Clark said. “We are also working with the day care on the same plans.” Clark and officer Char Madden will be attending emergency evacuation and active shooter training in the month of March. This training will help the department provide emergency response to tragic events.

Clark was encouraged by the schools and the day care cooperation with using the department as an expert in “what to do, how to do it and letting us develop the plans.”

In order to keep this partnership strong, Madden goes to the Pine Bluffs Elementary school each Tuesday to assist sheriff deputy Kurt Wilson from the Laramie County Sheriffs Department with the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. In March, Madden will begin the Safe Side program with students kindergarten through eighth grade.

“The program is similar to DARE, as a curriculum based activity that brings children closer to police officers in a safe, non-invasive environment,” Clark explained. “It will address safety issues such as stranger danger, getting into cars, and crossing the street.”

Crossing the street before and after school has become safer since the department “beefed up” the patrol of the school zones at those times, but it’s still not enough. Clark said drivers are simply ignoring the flashing lights on the buses.

She revealed plans to assess the ordinances of Pine Bluffs and make the speed limits around the schools easier to understand for drivers as well as safer for school pedestrians.

“It doesn’t make sense how it is now,” sighed Clark. “Right now its 15 miles per hour on one street and 25 miles per hour on the other. We would like to have more congruency and safety for our children.” Clark said she plans to implement a crosswalk and hopes to have volunteers from the high school or perhaps senior citizens and veterans assisting students across the street. This program would not only give an additional layer of safety for the students, but also build another partnership in the community for the police department.

The police department has added another layer of patrol to its ranks. Michael Moore is the active reserve officer for Pine Bluffs. Moore is retiring from the military in March and has been trained by the sheriff’s department and the Cheyenne Police Department. “He will have all the authority as a police officer but none of the pay as a volunteer,” explained Clark.

Officer Jake Johnson resigned from the Pine Bluffs department in late January, and accepted a position with the Newcastle Police Department. “He really wanted a busier larger department, and Newcastle is closer to his family,” Clark said.

Clark explained she is still actively searching for a full time officer and hopes to find the “right person and the right fit,” no matter where they have trained or worked before. In the meantime, the Pine Bluffs department is being supplemented by the Cheyenne department.

The application for the position is posted on the town’s web page, “We are working on a stand alone site for the police department,” Clark said.

Besides the application, you can find a link to register for Code Red, an alert system that notifies you through text, phone call or email on local emergencies or updates from the department. “The updates are sometimes about scams we hear about, other times we post information on active cases,” Clark explained.

“It often doesn’t look like the department is doing much, but we are growing towards a safer future for Pine Bluffs,” Clark said. “And community partnerships are essential.”


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