I am 47-years-old, divorced, and have a 10-year-old son who is my world. I was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming where I continue to live.
I lived an average and unremarkable childhood. In 1990, I graduated from Sheridan High School and went on to the University of Wyoming where I sought a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
In 1992, I dropped out of school. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was living with a high degree of anxiety that impacted my ability to fit in and even function on a daily basis.
I returned to Sheridan where I got a job selling computers. At night and on the weekends I would also flip burgers at a local restaurant.
The jobs helped build my confidence up and I took an interest in law enforcement. Around this time, a friend of mine was also the victim of a date rape.
In 1996, I entered the Police Science program at Sheridan College. I graduated with an Associate’s Degree and Honors. In 1998, I started school at Chadron State College.
In 1999, a interned at the Sheridan Police Department. In 2000, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I graduated with Honors and was awarded as the Criminal Justice Student of the Year.
In 2000, I started working for the Gillette Field Office of the Wyoming Department of Corrections as a Probation/Parole Agent. I worked at that office between 2000-2008.
While there, I was honored as one of the department’s Employee’s of the Year. I served as a Regional Trainer and also as a Public Information Officer.
I became heavily involved in anti-drug coalitions at a time when there was a methamphetamine epidemic in the area. I was a member of and eventually became the chairman of the Coalition Promoting a Drug-Free Community. I was also active in the Community Coalition Against Underage Drinking.
While heading up the drug coalition, I developed and wrote a brochure to provide to educate the public about methamphetamine. I constructed a website for the group. I also headed up a yearly periodical provided in the community newspaper that contained articles, resources and information about drug addiction.
Because of my expertise and work on substance abuse issues I was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Substance Abuse and Violent Crime Advisory Board until it was disbanded when Governor Matt Mead entered office in 2011.
In 2006, I recognized the need for legislation addressing the integrity of drug testing as drug users in the state were able to purchase products or employ methods that would allow them to “cheat” on their drug tests. I approached local legislators who agreed to help sponsor the proposed legislation.
After e-mails, building up support and testifying in front of both the House and Senate Judicial Committees, the Wyoming State Legislature showed overwhelming support for the bill which was passed and later signed into law by then Governor Dave Freudenthal. I was presented with the pen used to sign the legislation into law.
I transferred from Gillette to the Sheridan Field Office in 2008. I worked in Sheridan until August of 2013 when I left the Department of Corrections.
Now that I have been on BOTH sides of the criminal justice system I have come to understand how incredibly flawed and in need of reform it is. I have just started the Wyoming Justice Project to advocate for and work towards significant criminal justice reforms in Wyoming.