Washakie County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff: Steve Rakness
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Worland Police Department
Chief of Police: Gabe Elliott
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Law enforcement in Washakie County consists of the Worland Police Department and Washakie County Sheriff's Department. Both are housed in the Law Enforcement Center in downtown Worland.
Both of these departments work closely together to coordinate efforts on juvenile crime enforcement. A zero tolerance policy on the use of drugs and alcohol by juveniles has been put into force. To further increase protection of youth from the affects of alcohol, all law enforcement vehicles are currently equipped with alcohol sensors.
Educating the community's youth has a high priority with Washakie County Law Enforcement as a preventative measure in reducing juvenile crime. Both the Sheriff's and Police Departments are actively involved in a Community Safety Day in the spring, Substance Abuse Education Week, Bicycle Safety Week and Bike rodeo, and safety city to prepare young students for school.
Project DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a joint project between law enforcement and the school districts to prevent drug abuse in children and youth. The program emphasis of Project DARE is to help students recognize and resist the many subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol and marijuana. In addition, program strategies are planned to focus on feelings relating to self-esteem, interpersonal and communication skills, decision making, and positive alternatives to drug abuse behavior. There are currently four trained DARE officers in Washakie County. Two are from the Worland Police Department and two are from the sheriff's department. Project DARE classes are currently being taught to 5th graders, with a follow-up course targeting 8th graders.
An important element of Project DARE is the use of student leaders, who do not use drugs, as positive role models in influencing younger students not to use drugs. These students, who work with the DARE officers leading activities with younger students, have been chosen by their peers as persons who are admired and respected.