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'Win-win' as RPD adds presence at store

Jul 14, 2017 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The department also provides officers to Central Wyoming College and SageWest Health Care.

The Riverton Police Department recently began providing extra security for a third organization in town: Walmart.

Local police have been taking side jobs as security officers at Central Wyoming College and SageWest Health Care at Riverton for years, but recently they began working at the big box store on the north end of the city, too.

The department also provides resource officers for Fremont County School District 25 in Riverton.

RPD Capt. Todd Byerly said the store situation is a win-win.

"It's a good deal," he said. "It's decreased a lot of our calls up there, (and) officers make extra money."

The set-up is referred to as "secondary employment." Officers stationed at Walmart are off duty and are paid by the corporation, but they have the authority as law enforcement to initiate an arrest.

So, if anyone at the store needs to be taken into custody, RPD officers who are on patrol don't have to be diverted from the needs of other citizens.

Before the secondary employment began at Walmart, Byerly said patrol officers had to respond more frequently to the store for reports of trespassing or shoplifting, for example.

"It's a problem nationwide," he said. "Walmart consumes local agencies' time with calls."

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