City to target public intoxication in developing next FY budget; Costs may rise for RPD

Councilor Richard Gard made a point during discussion at Tuesday's night's Riverton City Council meeting. Listening in were Jonathan Faubion, left, and Mayor Ron Warpness. (Ernie Over photo)

Councilor Richard Gard made a point during discussion at Tuesday’s night’s Riverton City Council meeting. Listening in were Jonathan Faubion, left, and Mayor Ron Warpness. (Ernie Over photo)

By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The weather played a role, again, in Tuesday night’s Riverton City Council meeting as two informational presentations were postponed as officials from Volunteers of America and the Children’s Advocacy Project were unable to attend. The two organizations hail from Sheridan and Casper, respectively.

The failure of the two groups to arrive at the meeting did not preclude the council talking about at least one of them, Volunteers of America (VOA). The top goal of the city council for 2013 is to target public intoxication and VOA is in the process of merging the Fremont County Alcohol Crisis Center in Riverton into its statewide organization.

“They are close to finalizing the merger, about 85 percent through with their due diligence,” City Administrator Steven Weaver reported. “I’m very excited about this group as it will take us to a whole nother level.”

During a work session prior to Tuesday’s regular meeting, Weaver asked the council for direction as he and city staff begin to prepare the 2013-14 Fiscal Year budget. He listed the four main goals of the council for this year and asked what kind of funding, if any, should be directed toward the goals.

Weaver noted that in meeting with VOA officials, they indicated they would be seeking an additional $12,500 on top of the current city contribution of $100,000 if the merger is completed so they would have sufficient funds to begin operations with. Weaver said VOA is interested in reducing the city’s contribution as they acquire other grants and revenue sources to operate the Riverton center, which would change from a total alcohol detoxification center into a combination detox and treatment center, with emphasis on the treatment. He said VOA will also approach the county with a similar request, and he said they plan to talk with the Tribes of the  Wind River Reservation.

Riverton Police Chief Mike Broadhead

Riverton Police Chief Mike Broadhead

Councilor Lars Baker, the liaison with the crisis center, said the new orientation of a VOA center would most likely increase the city’s police department budget as fewer slots would be available for those who are simply intoxicated and who presently check in to the center for a place to sober up overnight.

“In the short term, we’ll have more need of using the jail in Lander, so I’ll be looking at that line item, “ Police Chief Mike Broadhead said. “The solutions lie in the treatment path, and that will take some time to turn around. With 30 beds now available, they may limit intox admissions to 10 a night, with the other 20 beds reserved for longer term treatment clients.” The chief said he hopes to see significant reductions in the public intoxication problem within three years. “We may have some short term pain for some long term gain,” he said.

Councilor Jonathan Faubion said public intoxication, “is a difficult and perpetual problem that is at the top of most’s people’s list.”

Weaver also said the group would like to be in a new building within 18 months.

The council was also scheduled to look at Community Service Grants, those local groups who seek funding from the city, but time ran out before they could get to that item. Councilor Richard Gard asked that another work session be planned so the council could discuss that topic in greater detail. Gard indicated he saw problems with the current funding allocations and wanted more time to “somehow target that money better.”

Weaver said the city currently has nine contracts with community service organizations totaling $372,000.

3 Comments

  1. Arland Moss

    CAN'T THE CITY OF RIVERTON OPEN THERE EYES AN SEE THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK'' ALL IT'S GOING TO DO IS A WASTE OF MONEY THEY CAN'T STOP THE INDIANS FROM DRINKING'' OR BEING DRUNK IN TOWN'' PLACEING THEM IN JAIL DON'T HELP '' PLACEING THEM IN A DETOX CENTER WILL NOT WORK'' HELL AS A SOBER'' NATIVE I WAS JUST WALKING DOWN TOWN AN THE CITY POLICE STOPPED ME JUST FOR WALKING TO THE POST OFFICE'' GIVE ME ALL SORTS OF TESTS ON THE STREET'' I REALLY THINK THAT RIVERTON POLICE HAS A RACISET THING AGAINST ALL NATIVE IN TOWN' THEY WILL STOP YOU FOR JUST WALKING TO SOME PLACE ALL BECAUSE YOUR AN INDIAN THAT's DRUNK OR IS DRUNK,'' OR JUST BECAUSE YOUR AN NATIVE AN SOBER'' HELL I SEE A LOT DRUNK WHITE PEOPLE IN TOWN AN THEY NEVER GET PULLED OVER OR STOPPED ON THE STREET'' BUT IF YOU ARE AN INDIAN YOU ARE TAGED AS A DRUNK INDIAN'' IN THERE EYES'' I SEEN THIS OLD LADY COMING OUT OF WAL-MART AN A RIVERTON CITY POLICE OFFICER ASKS HER IF SHE WAS DRINKING'' AN SHE WAS NATIVE TOO'' BUT MY REAL CONCERN IS WHY THE RIVERTON POLICE STOP A SOBER NATIVE FOR NO REASON AT ALL EVEN WHEN THEY ARE SOBER'' SEEMS LIKE NOW DAYS A INDIAN CAN'T BE WALKING IN TOWN AT ALL ALL BECAUSE THE RIVERTON COPS THINKS THAT ALL NATIVES ARE DRUNK AN ARE DRUNKS'' THIS IS WRONG ALL WRONG FOR THEM JUST BEING A RACISET WHITE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BADGE' BECAUSE THAT's THE ONLY THING THEY HAVE'' TO LABLE ALL INDIANS AS DRUNKS'' IN TOWN JUST FOR WALKING DOWN THE STREET'' OH WELL ALL WHITE PEOPLE DAY IS COMING TO THEM HERE REAL SOON'' RACISET PIGS'' IN UNIFORM'' THAT WANT MONEY''.

  2. Dana Neil Flint

    I read this last night and have thought long and hard what to say in response. I am on the streets and at detox walking side by side and listening to the people who end up there at different times intoxicated. The Riverton City Police, Lander City Police, Tribal Judges, etc. are there with us and have been supporting these efforts. Please Mr. Moss come be part of the solution instead of the problem.

  3. Arland Moss

    OH YOU'' SOUND LIKE ALL THE REST'' NO UNDERSTANDING'' JUST ONE WAY AN BY THE WAY WHY WOULD I WANT TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION' WHEN ITS NOT ME A DRUNK INDIAN'' AN THE PROBLEM IS THAT A SOBER INDIAN CAN'T EVEN WALK IN TOWN WITH OUT BEING HARASSED BY POLICE BY THE CITY POLICE'' NOW TELL ME THAT NO YOU CAN'T'' BECAUSE IAM AN INDIAN AN LOOKED AT AS A DRUNK'' INDIAN SO LIVE WITH IT'' ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE NOT ANGELS THEM SELFS' THEY ACT LIKE IT'' BUT THERE NOT'' THERE STILL ON INDIAN LAND'' SO THERE''.

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