LPD Officer David Hyde
LPD Officer David Hyde

LPD Officer David Hyde

(Editor’s note: Today’s story by officer David Hyde of the Lander Police Department marks the first in a new series of colorful columns written by local law enforcement. Hyde will be sending us stories every two weeks. All Fremont County law enforcement is invited to participate in Behind the Badge, and we hope to have columns from other portions of the county in the near future.)

By David Hyde, officer, Lander Police Department

(Lander, Wyo.) – First, a little information about me. I am in my eighth year with the Lander Police Department and still working as a Patrol Officer (that should give you a little hint about my intelligence right there). I do have a few other responsibilities, mostly firearms related.

I was hired by former Chief Dave Hockett in 2005, after putting myself through the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. I am sure Hockett figured…hey, what have we got to lose, he’s already paid for his own academy training, as long as he doesn’t break a hip we come out ahead. I might add Hockett made it clear at my first annual Christmas party he was not quite sure how I passed the psych evaluation. I was starting a Law Enforcement career at the age most others are leaving it (I’m on the wrong side of um…let’s say… 30, ok 40, well maybe 50). In favor I reminded him I didn’t have to PASS the evaluation, I just had to take it.

So I do catch quite a bit of grief from the younger Officers (they’re all younger) about breaking hips, always saying…huh ???, having a walker in my patrol car…you get the picture. Only Alan McOmie shows any sympathy (and you know how old he is).

Current Chief Jim Carey “aka the weasel” believes I can bring a little of what we as Police Officers see, hear, do, and possibly even think, to the people of Lander, so I’ll try.

There was considerable thought given to what exactly should be in the very first release of Behind The Badge. Considering I have worked at one time or another every shift, every day of the week, every holiday, been in every bar, bank, store, school, and a large share of the residences in Lander, picking an inaugural story to share has not been easy (don’t worry, Detective Randy, your most infamous incident will have to wait until the audience has been “conditioned” a little bit).

Let me start with one of my own favorites.

Several years ago I was working graveyard shift, and for some reason (it was probably hunting season) found myself the only Officer on duty about 4:00 a.m. (F.Y.I. that is no longer allowed to happen), and just biding my time until end of shift at 5:00 a.m., only one more hour to go. So there I was, on patrol, all alone, not another cop within 24 miles (Riverton), cruising along on Buena Vista Drive almost to the hospital when I received one of the most potentially dangerous calls imaginable…a home invasion in progress…by four armed intruders. So, here I came, whipped a U-turn, lights and siren, screaming back down Buena Vista as fast as I could, blew through the junction (glad it was early)…man I was doing some pretty fancy driving if I do say so. Getting closer…dispatch advising me the suspects had gained entry (that means they got inside the house) and the terrified female still on the line, screaming. Power sliding onto First Street off Main, blew across the Washakie intersection, getting closer, just about to turn onto Eugene Street, less than one block to go,  when dispatch advised the female now claimed the four suspects had morphed into werewolves. That’s right…werewolves.

Now I don’t know about you, but that suggested to me something might be amiss, perhaps some mental issues, perhaps alcohol involvement, something just not quite right.

Anyway, I arrived (sans lights and siren), was unable to locate the werewolves (and I did look thoroughly, just in case) and contacted the “victim”. I couldn’t help but notice when I got inside the residence cases of beer stacked along one wall and about halfway to the ceiling, hmmm that’s a clue.

Odd part about that call…the lady was just certain the intruders/werewolves got in her house; she just didn’t know where they went.

Well, that’s one down. Let County 10 know what you think, and see you later.