Wyoming sheriff recruits Colorado officers with controversial billboard

May 15, 2024
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A Wyoming sheriff is recruiting new deputies in nearby Denver, and the controversial tactic has ruffled feathers in the Mile High City.

A billboard paid for by the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office was unveiled in Denver, Colorado, on May 12 during annual Police Week. The week honors fallen police officers, but Sheriff Brian Kozak had an additional message for “frustrated officers” spelled out in bold on the billboard: “Work in Wyoming where breaking the law is still illegal and cops are funded!”  

Kozak was referring to budget cuts that city council members proposed in April, which would slash Denver’s public safety budget by $8.4 million – about 1.9% of the police force’s funds. The billboard use the opportunity to recruit police to his city about an hour’s drive away. 

He said in a post on social media the cuts restricted the ability of cops to enforce traffic laws such as expired plates and safety equipment violations. Kozak thanked his community for supporting law enforcement and said he “welcomes those who have a desire to do their job” to join Laramie County Sheriff’s office. 

He told CBS affiliate KKTV that since the billboard was unveiled, he has been receiving about 20 to 40 job applications per day.

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Controversial billboard in Denver to recruit officers for Laramie County Sheriff’s office.

Laramie County Sheriff’s Office


Denver announced in January that the city would trim the budgets of various agencies to provide shelter and services for more than 4,700 migrants, CBS Colorado reported at the time. Expenses to support migrants could reach as high as $15 million per month, or $180 million annually, the city said earlier this year.

“To the national media that have been reporting that we are defunding the police, we are not. If we were, I wouldn’t be voting for this,” Councilmember Kevin Flynn told the Denver Gazette in April. Instead, savings would come from delayed furniture purchases and the relocation of a mounted police unit, Flynn said.  

Other savings would come from not filling open positions – including the planned 167 police recruits in 2024. Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s $8.2 million allocation for new recruits would be among the positions to disappear, Common Sense Institute found.

“Denver Police salary and benefit information is detailed here, but a primary advantage for working for Denver Police versus the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office is that the top pay for the officer rank” is higher in the Mile High City, Denver police said in a statement to KKTV.

The mayor’s office refuted allegations that the city plans to curb police recruitment, saying in a statement, “Mayor Johnston has invested millions to add 167 new police recruits to our force in 2024, and will continue to invest in public safety to ensure every Denverite is safe in their city.”

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