The bold Wyoming sheriff enraging Dem cops by enticing them away (2024)

A Wyoming sheriff has sparked backlash from Democrats after enticing police officers away from Blue-run cities with billboards.

Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak launched an unorthodox recruitment drive earlier this month, and put up a billboard in Denver, Colorado after the city's mayor pulled millions from the police budget.

The billboard read: 'Work in Wyoming, where breaking the law is STILL ILLEGAL & cops are funded!'

After images of the advertising went viral, Kozak now says he has heard from over 100 prospective hires, including cops from other states outside Colorado looking for a fresh start.

A Wyoming sheriff targeted his recruitment drive at Denver police officers after their budget was slashed to fund migrant support, noting that in the Cowboy State, 'breaking the law is still illegal and cops are funded!'

Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak said he has received a wave of applications after he put up the billboard, including many from outside Denver where it was stationed

When he put up the billboard, Kozak told the Cowboy State Daily that he chose Denver as the spot for his advertisem*nt because it had slashed its police budget just months before.

Kozak said since putting up the billboard, he has faced a wave of interested applicants, with most registered police officers instead of those looking to become one for the first time.

He revealed that only around 10 percent are from Denver, while the rest are from across the nation that were enticed by his promise of respect for law and order.

Denver, a sanctuary city, has struggled to house 40,000 migrants since last year, leading Denver Mayor Mike Johnston to cut a total of $45 million from city agency budgets to deal with the influx.

Over $8.4 million was siphoned from the police budget, which would halt hiring new officers in certain departments alongside making other cuts.

In total, it was reported that Johnston faces a staggering $180 million bill to effectively shelter migrants through 2024, as he pledged to respond to what he branded a 'newcomer crisis.'

But after Kozak's taunting billboard, Johnston's office insisted to the Cowboy State Daily that his moves will not have any impact on police services in his city.

'The city of Denver’s adjustment to the Denver Police Department’s budget was carefully crafted with safety leaders and Mayor Johnston to ensure there would be no impact to the department’s public services,' Johnston said in a statement.

'To say that Denver is ‘defunding the police’ is a willful mischaracterization of the budget reductions.'

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston came under scrutiny after he slashed the city's police budget, but he insisted this week that it will have no impact upon police services

Denver's migrant crisis has seen city officials struggle to house an influx of a staggering 40,000-plus people

Locals in Denver react to the new billboard, which was triggered by the city's decision to slash its police department budget

Read More Denver warns new migrants to leave sanctuary city and move elsewhere - saying that their lack of resources means asylum seekers will 'suffer'

Johnston added that his office has invested millions into adding 167 new police officers to the force this year, and 'will continue to invest in public safety to ensure every Denverite is safe in their city.'

While the city grapples with tens of thousands of migrant arrivals, Denver leaders have also recently faced off with the migrants as they refuse to move from an illegal encampment, and say they won't do so until 13 demands are met.

In a previous interview, Kozak said he saw the chaos in the Democrat-run city as the perfect opportunity to fill his vacant job roles.

'We do enforce the rules and the law, and I want people to know about Wyoming — that’s our culture here,' he told the Cowboy State Daily.

'And statewide, communities do support law enforcement. There’s no doubt about that.'

Kozak added that his department is also targeting the Denver area with digital advertising, and he received a large discount on the cost of the billboard because the proprietor was not a fan of Colorado's police cuts.

The sheriff added that before he even launched the billboards, a Vail-area officer transferred to Cheyenne, Wyoming last year because of the state's lack of hostility towards cops.

This was also true for Kozak's Chief Deputy Aaron Veldheer, who told the Cowboy State Daily that he moved from Eagle County, Colorado because of anti-cop sentiment from Colorado lawmakers.

'And I worked for a great agency in Colorado. I’ve got no complaints about them,' he said.

'Just the General Assembly (Colorado Legislature) makes it so the cops are the bad guys.'

Kozak's Chief Deputy Aaron Veldheer (right, pictured together) noted that hemoved from Eagle County, Colorado because of anti-cop sentiment from Colorado lawmakers

Although the budget cuts in Denver have been triggered by the migrant crisis, Kozak also reportedly cited another recent decision in the city that could drive officers away.

On May 1, Denver lawmakers approved new legislation banning officers from pulling over drivers for low-level traffic violations, believing the stops do little to reduce crime rates.

However, Kozak argued this was not the case, and reportedly pointed out that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was captured after being pulled over for not having a registration tag on his vehicle.

He added that Wyoming police are also still under qualified immunity, which protects cops from being sued if they didn't knowingly violate someone's rights, while Colorado got rid of the rule amid the 2020 BLM riots.

Kozak said his department hired 72 people last year in an 'unheard of' recruitment drive, and this year has allocated $40,000 solely for recruitment, a move that he said would essentially pay for itself.

'That’s less than half of what the salary is for one employee, versus my overtime budget last year was $1.3 million,' he said.

'So, we’ve got to get aggressive on our recruiting efforts to save money and hire people, and eliminate that overtime budget.'

The bold Wyoming sheriff enraging Dem cops by enticing them away (2024)


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