Two officers with local ties to the community joined the staff at the Lovell Police Department this past week, bringing a host of skills, enthusiasm and experience to their new positions.
Interim Police Chief Dan Laffin said he was pleased with the background and qualifications of both officers – Jesse Piper and Bill Pulver.
Pulver grew up in Lovell but moved to Thermopolis with his family in 1989 when he was a junior in high school. He graduated from Thermopolis High School. He worked at the Wyoming Boys School for 18 months before returning to Lovell with his wife Krystal, who is also originally from Lovell.
“There are many reasons we brought him on board,” explained Chief Laffin. “He performed exceptionally well during the board interview. He is calm and level headed. He has a great deal of experience from the boys’ home, especially with regard to de-escalating situations. His maturity and life experience will help him immensely in this job, because he’s been to a lot of places and dealt with a lot of different kinds of people. He is also fluent in Spanish.”
Pulver said his goal from the beginning was to take his experience from the boys’ school to help youth in the area.
“I hope to steer children clear, so they don’t have to go to boys’ school,” said Pulver. “It’s a last resort. It’s something that goes on your record, so avoiding it at all cost is a good thing. I have experience with kids who are there, and I can tell you they are very lonely and miss their families. Most of the time they wish they hadn’t done what they did to end up there.”
Pulver and his wife returned to Lovell about a year ago and opened a coffee drive-through kiosk on Main Street in Lovell called “Happily Grounded.” Pulver said Krystal will continue operating the business.
Since Pulver is relatively new to law enforcement, he will attend the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas for 16 weeks, beginning in August. He said he’s excited about the opportunity and looks forward to attending the academy in preparation for his new career.
Piper brings a wealth of experience to the job, having served as a Big Horn County Sheriff’s deputy for the past six years.
“Officer Piper is very experienced,” said Laffin. “He’s very smart and intuitive, and he is an expert in the law. We’ve sat and talked about various processes with regard to investigations and he is very in tune with detailed investigative techniques.”
Piper said taking the position in Lovell made a lot of sense, since he and his family recently moved to the area. He said though the job is very similar to that of a deputy, focusing on a smaller geographical area will allow him to get to know people in the town better.
“The thing about a small department like this is you take a case from start to finish, you pretty much do everything,” said Piper. “It’s not like in a bigger city where you hand the case over to a detective. It provides a unique opportunity, I think, to see a case through from start to finish.”
Piper was on the job last week and due to his extensive experience will require no additional training. He said he looks forward to working a little closer to home, which will allow him to spend more time with his family in his off hours.
By Patti Carpenter