Five local government entities have come together to form a new law enforcement task force that will target impaired driving in Fremont County.
The task force – which includes Riverton, Lander, Shoshoni, Dubois, and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office – will use a $20,000 grant to pay for extra patrols targeting impaired drivers at assigned locations and times through Sept. 30, 2024.
“When there’s a brew fest, for example, we can (do) maximum enforcement,” Shoshoni Police Department chief Chris Konija told the Shoshoni Town Council last month. “Wherever there are issues, we’ll respond and go out there and address those as a complete law enforcement team from Fremont County.”
It’s a “100 percent cooperative framework,” he added, so officers will be able to make arrests outside of their own jurisdictions when they’re working as part of the task force.
That means someone driving through Riverton could get pulled over by a Fremont County deputy or an officer from a neighboring town during a task force operation, Riverton Mayor Tim Hancock said this week.
“So (don’t be) confused if you get pulled over by a Lander Police Department vehicle in Riverton,” Hancock said. “If it’s subject to this (agreement) they would have jurisdiction. They’d have the ability to enforce state statute as well as city ordinance.”
Wyoming considers the task force to be a pilot program, Riverton Police Department chief Eric Hurtado said, and “leadership will work diligently to make sure this (is) successful.”
“The state is very interested in how this is going to evolve or what it’s going to look like (and) what the impacts would be,” Konija said.
Hancock said the first task force operation is set to take place in Riverton at the end of the month.