The Green River Police Department was established on August 11, 1868, when Thomas J. Smith was elected Marshall during the town's first election. Green River was located in Carter County, Dakota Territory at that time. The town consisted of 101 citizens according to the 1869 census. Some of the first ordinances of that time prohibited carrying or discharging firearms or other deadly weapons, public intoxication, disturbance of the peace or fighting and indecent public exposure.
Development of Town Offices
The Town of Green River was incorporated under the laws of the newly formed State of Wyoming on May 5, 1891. The Town Marshall was John D. Payne. Since that time there have been 23 changes in the Office of Marshall or Chief of Police as it was later named. From 1891 to 1925 the Mayor appointed the Town Marshall. The Mayor was elected every two years. This resulted in the Town Marshall changing on the average every two years.
The greatest changes have occurred in the Police Department since 1970. At that time there were approximately six full-time officers and 13 part-time officers. Basic training was conducted at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas and lasted four weeks. In 1980, state law began to require all officers to attend the Police Academy. Since most part-time officers were unable to leave their full-time jobs for training, most of the part-time positions were eliminated at this time.
Qualifications & Training Developments
With advances in criminal science and increased requirements on qualifications for courtroom testimony, the way Green River police officers are trained has changed. Basic police academy training now lasts 12 weeks, and the Green River Police Department officers have individual specialized training in areas such as:
- Accident reconstruction
- Bomb technician
- Clandestine lab processing
- Computer crime investigation
- Crime scene processing
- Polygraph operation