Hall of Fame
Lori Emmert - 2016
Lori Emmert, Chief of Police (ret), began her career in 1980 and for the past 36 years has given us the opportunity to watch the State of Wyoming Law Enforcement community benefit from her high level of integrity, loyalty and dedication to Wyoming Law Enforcement.
Chief Emmert was first employed with the Douglas Police Department in 1980 as a communications officer. Her levels of intelligence, ability and work ethic allowed for rapid acceptance among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and eventually promotion to the position of the Douglas Police Departments Chief of Police in 2003.
Earlier in her career as a member of the Wyoming Peace Officer Association (WPOA) , Chief Emmert energized what had previously become a somewhat status quo training program for dispatchers. Moving through the chairs of the Communications sub-committee, she eventually became the President of the WPOA Communications Division and continued to develop training and educational programs not only dispatchers, but the entire training program for WPOA. As well, Chief Emmert was a guest instructor for 20 years at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy helping with the development of the Dispatch Certification Program, she was instrumental in developing, reviewing and improving instructor skills and curricula and instructed at the Peace Officer Basics.
She was instrumental in assisting the Douglas Police Department in bringing the Western Regional Community Oriented Policing Consortium (WRICOPS), to Wyoming, and involving the Department in the first assessment and report on Community Policing in Wyoming. As a result she was selected to be a WRICOPS Cadre member and participated in assessments throughout the western region. She was selected and attended the FBI National Academy , appointed as a commissioner to the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission by Governor Freudenthal for two terms, and is an integral part of the Wyoming Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Association (WASCOP).
To summarize, Chief Emmert, from 1980 till the present, even in retirement, continues to dedicate a large portion of her life to Wyoming Law Enforcement. Her energy, intelligence, loyalty and integrity have brought positive recognition to Wyoming from federal agencies and state government. Her character traits have built bridges with community members and elected officials not only within Wyoming but nationally as well. Most importantly, “…none of her commitment was ever put forth for personal gain”.
Ernie Johnson- 2009
Ernie began his career as a police officer in Casper, Wyoming. He worked his way through various ranks and positions in the nearly ten years he was with Casper Police Department. Ernie’s time at Casper was notable and he is particularly remembered by fellow officers of that era for the many major cases that he made as a detective and detective Sergeant. Consistently showing a gift for interrogation techniques, Ernie attained a level of successful confessions that were second to none.
Perhaps Mr. Johnson is best known in Wyoming and recognized nationally for his contributions and accomplishments while at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. During his tenure from 1976 through November of 2000, he served as the Assistant Director and Director of the Academy as well as the Executive Director of Peace Officer Standards and Training. It was in these roles that Mr. Johnson’s gifts as a teacher, practical instructor and leader, and ultimately a visionary for the growth of Wyoming law enforcement became evident.
Mr. Johnson’s greatest accomplishments were his effort to “grow up” the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. Upon taking over as Director, Ernie took on the challenges of an academy that was in infancy. Although it was an independent state law enforcement basic training academy, it was extremely dependent upon the Federal Government for instructors. Under Ernie’s leadership, the training staff ultimately grew from one assistant to a training cadre of twelve full-time instructors. The basic training that initially focused only on peace officers, eventually expanded under Mr. Johnson’s direction to include detention officers, communication personnel, and coroners. Special advanced training schools for experienced veteran officers grew from a few to over fifty sessions annually.
When Ernie became its director, the Academy was housed on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds which meant that training could only be offered part-time. It was clear that a facility where law enforcement training could occur 12 months of the year was required to establish credibility of the programs as well as handle the ever increasing demand for these training programs. Mr. Johnson persevered in presenting that need to any and all that would listen and championed the call to build a specialized law enforcement training facility when many others would have refused the challenge. The state-of-the-art Academy facility was ultimately built and began service in 1984. Immediately, all of the training programs expanded in quality, duration and attendance numbers.
Ernie practiced and demanded of his staff the maintenance of a very high standard of professionalism throughout the training efforts. Yet that constant striving for excellence was always blended with his deep care for the students. Mr. Johnson consistently delivered well-prepared and engaging lectures that kept students interested and challenged throughout the entire class. As a result of his career-long pursuit of additional training and continuing education, Ernie developed an undeniable mastery of the career field.
The standards and procedures of Wyoming law enforcement improved dramatically under Mr. Johnson’s leadership. Enhanced student performance standards that he introduced into the basic training curriculum include: custody control, firearms, physical training, and emergency vehicle operations. These standards not only trained the officer to be safer but, because the officers were better prepared and more skilled, the communities of Wyoming were the beneficiaries of truly professional services. Mr. Johnson personally took on what is often the most problematic area, the use of force, as his own area of expertise. Consequently, the number of judgments against law enforcement that were collected in Wyoming was reduced through the professional standard, quality training and the credible testimony provided by Mr. Johnson.
In order to accomplish all that he did, Mr. Johnson assembled an extremely gifted staff and consistently sought and gained the support of the officers and administrators within the state and across the nation. He has been repeatedly recognized nationally for the many professional programs that were started by the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, but openly shared with other states.
It is worth noting that Mr. Johnson is both a product of and a role model for the entire Wyoming system that is responsible for the professionalism, career development and education of a professional Wyoming law enforcement officer. It is this very system that Mr. Johnson has spent his career trying to improve and even professionalize further.
John Bey - 2008
John’s career in law enforcement began in 1965, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where he hired on as a Patrol Officer with the Police Department. He continued his career in Wyoming from 1967 through 1982, as a member of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, starting as a Trooper and receiving a promotion to Patrol Sergeant in 1975. John’s 18 years of law enforcement service gave him a wealth of experience to draw from when he was elected Sheriff of Converse County in 1983.
During Sheriff Bey’s six (6) terms (1983-2006) as leader of the Converse County Sheriff’s Department, he invested his life in the betterment of law enforcement in Wyoming. Sheriff Bey participated in the Wyoming Peace Officers’ Association (past president), Tri-State Peace Officers Association (past president), Wyoming Search & Rescue Council, Wyoming Sheriff’s Association (Past President), Wyoming Sheriff’s and Chief’s Association and the National Sheriff’s Association, as well as having been appointed to the Governor’s Drug and Alcohol Advisory Council. A great deal of John’s focus while addressing law enforcement needs through these organizations was on creating more unity among law enforcement in Wyoming. It was during his tenure as President of the Wyoming Peace Officers Association that he joined efforts with then Chief’s Association President Larry Majerus to join the Sheriff’s Association and Chief’s Association into the single entity it is today.
Sheriff Bey’s experience and sensitivity to the special issues facing Wyoming’s elected law enforcement officials prompted him to develop a training program to help newly elected sheriffs face the specific challenges of their office. He introduced the “Newly Elected Sheriff’s Training Conference”, and the training has become an essential part of stepping into the office for new sheriffs.
Larry Majerus- 2008
Serving with associations and committees provided the avenue to change and better the law enforcement environment in Wyoming, and Larry Majerus dedicated a great deal of time and effort working through those avenues. Larry served three terms on the State Law Enforcement Communications Commission (SALECS) between 1984 and 1996. He served as President of the Wyoming Chief’s Association from 1988-1989, and it was during this term that he worked closely with Past President Byron Rookstool to join the Chief’s and Sheriffs Associations into one association. With the support of John Bey, in his term as President of the Wyoming Peace Officers Association, the Sheriff’s and Chief’s became one association.
Chief Majerus served as president of the Wyoming Peace Officers’ Association in 2000, and it was during his service on the WPOA Executive Board that he worked diligently on a proposal to include all law enforcement in a State Peace Officers Retirement System. As a result of the persistent efforts of Larry Majerus and others, the bill creating the Wyoming State Peace Officers Retirement System was passed in the 2002 legislative session. Larry’s participation in the WAM (Wyoming Association of Municipalities) Public Safety Committee provided another avenue for addressing the needs of Wyoming law enforcement within our state government.
Chief Majerus served on the building committee for the Wyoming Peace Officers’ Memorial that was established at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, and then served on the standing committee as representative for the Wyoming Association of Sheriff's and Chiefs’.
From 1996 through 2000, Larry served on the NCIC 2000 Western Working Group, on behalf of Wyoming law enforcement, to evaluate and report our needs to the FBI during development of NCIC 2000. Larry also served on the National Law Enforcement Corrections Technology Center Advisory Board, representing Wyoming law enforcement needs with the National Institute of Justice Science and Technology Center.
In his quest to raise the standards of law enforcement and develop community policing in Wyoming, Larry brought the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS) to Douglas to perform a “Community Policing Assessment” of the police department. Because he saw the value of the assessment process to law enforcement, he joined the WRICOPS Cadre, representing Wyoming law enforcement, to aid with the Community Policing assessment process in the western region. While working with WRICOPS, Chief Majerus joined a team that traveled to Russia in 2002, to share “Community Policing” with officers in a small island community there. Upon return, having observed officers working with no equipment, Larry and the team started a surplus equipment drive to gather from our great surplus of slightly outdated equipment to assist fellow officers abroad.
When Larry saw a need, he was challenged to address it. He began designing a booklet called “The Transition Document” in response to our difficulties with communicating about the intricacies of the Police Department with newly elected mayors and city council members. He wrote an article about the document that was published in the FBI National Academy Association Bulletin, and copies of the document were provided to agencies around the state and across the nation with the hope of helping them provide crucial information about their departments to newly elected officials.
Larry Majerus has tirelessly promoted the interests of law enforcement in Wyoming for the past 28 years. It would be hard to enumerate the value of Chief Majerus’ consistent involvement in promoting quality law enforcement in Wyoming over the years.