Former Casper Police Officer Charged With Reckless Endangerment, Resigns During Investigation
The Casper Police Department has announced that a former police officer with the department has been charged with Reckless Endangerment following an altercation with a citizen in the fall of 2021.
Per a news release from the department, 35-year-old Jesse Jones, a five-year department veteran with the Casper Police Department, has been charged with one misdemeanor count of Reckless Endangerment.
"At the time of the incident, the former officer was not on duty, and did not represent the Casper Police Department," the release stated. "Nonetheless, the former officer was still employed at the Casper Police Department."
According to the release, around 1:30 P.M. on Friday, October 1, 2021, Casper Police responded to a 911 call from the 900 block of North Durbin Street in Casper.
"Upon arrival to the scene, the responding officer made contact with an off-duty Casper Police Department employee, Jones, who appeared to have been involved in a physical altercation with a citizen," the release said. "The altercation was unrelated to Jones’ employment at the Casper Police Department."
Per the CPD policy, Jones was immediately placed on paid administrative leave and an internal review of the incident was initiated.
Once the review was completed, it revealed that the employee's actions "were not in line with the Casper Police Department Code of Conduct." This code holds the actions of CPD employees accountable, whether they are on-duty or off.
"As a result, on December 14, 2021, Chief McPheeters initiated the process by which a police officer’s employment may be terminated, as dictated by the procedures outlined in the Rules and Regulations of the Civil Service Commission the City of Casper, Wyoming," the release noted.
However, prior to the completion of the termination process, Jones resigned from his position with the Casper Police Department.
Once the DCI investigation was complete, the findings of that investigation were provided to the Natrona County District Attorney's Office, who requested the assistance of a third party to make a decision regarding the charges. That third party was the Johnson County Deputy County Attorney.
The result that followed was that, on January 25, 2022, Jones was charged with Reckless Endangerment.
“In keeping with our long standing commitment to transparency, the Casper Police Department is releasing this information,” said Casper Chief of Police Keith McPheeters. “We hold our employees to extremely high ethical, professional and personal standards. We believe that our community expects this of its police officers. Because of this commitment, our internal expectations far exceed those required by the standards of criminal laws. When we identify improvements that are needed, we do not feel the need to wait before we take efforts to make those improvements. In this case, we believe that taking the actions we did helps to maintain the public trust in our agency and the police services we provide to our community. Our commitment to the citizens of Casper remains as it always has been – to protect and serve our community through the highest standards of professionalism in police services – and to maintain a Department of selfless public servants who reflect that ideal in their personal and professional lives.”