PD chief realigns department leadership to seek accreditation

Lt. Chuck Deaton poses in front of the City of Gillette Police Department with his arms crossed. (Photo: County 17 / Brooke Byelich)
Gillette Chief of Police Chuck Deaton stands on the steps of the Gillette Police Department in 2021. (Photo: County 17 / Brooke Byelich)

GILLETTE, Wyo.— The Gillette Police Department (GPD) now has a deputy chief and a new lieutenant following a series of promotions unveiled during last week’s City Council meeting.

Gillette Police Chief Chuck Deaton has promoted Brent Wasson, formerly the support services lieutenant, to deputy chief while former Patrol Sergeant Jason Marcus has been promoted to lieutenant.

With his promotion, Wasson will now focus mainly on pursuing department accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), a goal in which both the Gillette City Council and Deaton have expressed interest in recent meetings.

Accreditation as a law enforcement agency would mean the GPD is providing constitutional policing through department policies and procedures, training, and accountability, Wasson said.

“It’s based on the best practices in law enforcement,” Wasson said, adding that CALEA staff are continuously reviewing new and emerging legislation to make sure that agencies accredited through them are complying with the law and are using the most up to date information on how to deliver law enforcement services in communities.

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As of March 2, the Casper Police Department is the only agency currently seeking accreditation in Wyoming, but in neighboring states, such as Nebraska, law enforcement agencies statewide are required to be accredited through a state accreditation process, per Wasson.

He said that the department’s shift towards pursuing accreditation is not because a similar requirement is coming down the road, but to make sure the GPD is getting the best information, providing the best training, and is doing what it says it’s doing based on the best practices currently available.

In addition to his new role as accreditation coordinator, Wasson will also continue to serve as the department public information officer and the internal affairs manager while assisting with policy development, community projects, special projects, and grant coordination.

Wasson had already been overseeing much, if not all, of his current duties while he was the support services lieutenant in addition to overseeing the community service officers, police property and evidence, animal control, the city animal shelter, detectives, narcotics, and dispatch.

“What the chief tried to accomplish is, in the bureau commanders in operations and support services, he tried to distribute the number of personnel that fall below each to even that out a little bit better so that we can spend more time on those topics,” Wasson said.

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His old duties now fall to GPD Lt. Jason Marcus, a 23-year veteran of the GPD who most recently served as a patrol sergeant and a detective sergeant prior to that.

“I’m really excited to get started,” Marcus said. “I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks now and it’s been really good.”

He said that his promotion this time around is different from his previous advancements and that, having switched from the patrol side of things to police administration, it’s a different pace.

“I’m not out as much with the guys now that I was before,” Marcus said but added that he’s helping the department and is happy for what he sees as a positive change.

He feels ready for his new role and comfortable moving up the ladder, stating that his experience at the department has prepared him well for his new position that he hopes to continue in for the next several years while working towards his goal of 30 years in law enforcement service.