Following several months of turmoil the Lovell Police Department has a new chief of police. Jason Beal, a lifetime Lovell resident, was appointed to the position by Mayor Angel Montanez, with the unanimous approval of the town council at their regular meeting of the Lovell Town Council on Tuesday night. The appointment was made with little or no discussion during the meeting. Montanez and the town council interviewed Beal during a previous closed-door session on Monday, Aug. 24.
The LPD has been without a chief since the departure of Nick Lewis as of June 1. Lewis was fired, then unfired and then not reappointed when the mayor took office at the beginning of the year. Montanez said in a previous interview with the Chronicle that he wanted to take his time finding the right candidate for the position.
Beal has been a deputy with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department since 2008. He is currently Emergency Management Coordinator for Big Horn County, a position he has held since June of 2013.
Beal has lived in Lovell most of his life and is well known to most of the current LPD staff and the community. He said he hopes that this will contribute to an easy transition in his new position.
Beal has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wyoming and a Bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in secondary education. He taught school in Lovell for three years and graduated from Lovell High School with the class of 1998. He is the son of Tracy and Valerie Beal of Lovell.
Beal said he plans to give formal notice to his current employer immediately and hopes to transition into his new position over the next few weeks.
By Patti Carpenter