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Powell Police Department Names Its New Chief


After a nationwide, month’s-long search, the city of Powell has named its new police chief.

Sweetwater County Sheriff Sgt. Jim Rhea has been selected to lead the Powell Police Department.  He’ll take over the helm next month.

“I feel truly honored to have been chosen and I cannot wait to serve the community of Powell,” he said in a Wednesday interview.

Rhea and three other finalists traveled to Powell and took part in a series of interviews last week with members of the police department, the community and business leaders.  After those meetings and gatherings with city staffers and councilors, Rhea’s name rose to the top of each group’s list.

City Administrator Zack Thorington said Rhea checked more boxes than any of the other candidates.  But he added that each of the four final candidates were “excellent.”

“This guy’s gonna be a very good fit,” Thorington said, adding, “I’m excited for the city and everyone [in the community].”

Thorington said he spent last weekend mulling over the choices and then called Rhea to make an offer on Monday.  He notified city personnel that Rhea accepted the position on Tuesday.

While it was only one factor among many, Thorington said Rhea’s Wyoming experience was a plus. He noted the officer already knows state law and is fully certified as a Wyoming peace officer.

“He can hit the ground running,” Thorington said.

Among his first tasks as chief, Rhea said one will be to sit down with stakeholders and department personnel to prioritize what needs to be done.

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