The Laramie Wyoming Sheriff’s Office recently unleashed a cacophony of caca on the city of Denver in the form of a recruitment billboard. Filled with images of officers who are ready to kick ass at a moment’s notice, next to a caption reading “Work in Wyoming where breaking the law is still illegal and cops are funded,” this signage is the epitome of everything wrong with dividing the ideology of both what law enforcement is, and what it should strive to be.

By using subtle conservative-based virtue signaling while conflating the values of a “traditional state” like Wyoming with a fundamental belief in societal order, it’s clear that division is the billboard’s purpose. And though it may seem that the intent of the billboard is to further erode trust in law enforcement from anyone who doesn’t vote a straight-R ticket at the ballot box, I feel there’s something more sinister lurking under the surface.

I believe the overly Americanized bravado of the billboard helps divert attention away from the fact that a deputy of this department beat the Hell out of an 8-year-old. But more on that in a minute …


The Billboard Keeps The Thin Blue Line Intact … And Completely Inflexible—

When I saw the billboard, my first reaction was a mixture of nostalgia and revulsion. Having spent a few years in Rock Springs Wyoming as a teenager, both the quote and the image immediately threw me back to that time in the late ‘90’s.

Between the phony-ass machismo that dripped from the officers in the picture, to the overwhelming stench of conservatism that came from the billboard’s sales pitch, every inch perfectly encapsulated the Cowboy State. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what Laramie County Sherrif Brian Kozak was going for. “We try to look where officers are not happy with the political environment, and we try to promote our culture here in Wyoming where it’s more of a conservative area,” he stated in a recent interview.

And like any good uber-conservative, he knows that it’s best to destroy any subtlety when it comes to potentially aggregating any talent outside of his own political ideology—he might inadvertently attract someone open-minded if he didn’t.  

Another thing he said during that same interview that stood out was, “One of the things is you get to do your job here [in Laramie County]. So, you get to enforce the laws here.” This would mean that it’s now perfectly legal for an adult to mercilessly attack an 8-year-old child who has both Autism and ADHD.


The Laramie Sheriff’s Department Knows Its Target Audience: Assholes—

My second reaction to seeing the billboard was suspicion.

When you’ve learned as much as I have from covering years of news stories about the levels of over-compensation police are willing to go to in shifting public perception once they’ve fucked up, my spidey senses began tingling. I knew this billboard and its messaging was a smoke screen of some kind … and the lawsuit that began in late 2023 proved me right.

The lawsuit complaint alleges that Laramie County Sheriff Deputy Benjamin Jacquot, a school resource officer for Freedom Elementary School in Cheyenne, unnecessarily tackled and pinned an 8-year-old boy on the ground. Deputy Jacquot … forcibly wrestled (him) into a nearby conference room using an armlock where the assault grew violent,” it states.

It also alleges that “during the deleted portion of the body cam video, Deputy Jacquot repeatedly slammed (the boy) face down onto the floor of the conference room causing multiple bleeding facial injuries.”

Though the boy reportedly had an individualized education plan at school due to a neurodivergent disability and ADHD, the document says the boy was not a threat to himself or anyone else. It also states the boy was not committing and had not committed a crime, had no weapons and wasn’t under arrest.

The entire story takes on an even more ghoulish turn when you realize that this event took place in February 2022, and Jacquot has actively been on the force since then. When Kozak—the same mastermind behind the billboard—was asked about this, he noted that Jacquot was cleared following an investigation last year and therefore remains employed with the department.

As a side note, I think that when it comes to the Laramie billboard and its potential for success in Colorado, the strategy is all wrong. Considering the tens of millions of dollars paid out over lawsuits against Clear Creek County and Aurora officers who violated citizens’ rights during this decade, maybe Kozak should try the honest approach.

I think putting something like, “Be a cop in Wyoming where we’ll pay you to beat up the most vulnerable. Plus, our state is hate crime statute free!” could work. It’s all about location, Kozak, and I just gave you some prime real estate tips.   


Final Summary: If It Ain’t Broke, Break It!—

It’s the divisions fostered by this “us real Americans” attitude that has helped a majority of those same Americans to lose trust in law enforcement over the last few years. It needs to stop. Unfortunately, I don’t see this change happening too quickly.

Though I understand how easy it is to poke holes through the thought processes displayed in the billboard erected by the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office when you stop and think about it for more than two minutes, it seems that may be too much to ask.  

Sadly, for most people, two minutes is the exact amount of time that seems to be a detriment to their fucking health. It’s always easier to blindly follow an image and a series of phrases that already enforce some warped pre-conceived notion about what law enforcement is, as opposed to discovering the truth.

Thankfully, I believe the cops in Denver could be the group that begins the stand against this divisive thinking. They seem smart enough to take the extra time to see through the hyperbole and have become resistant to that kind of bullshit. However, on the off-chance that an officer or two are shitdiots and do fall for the conservative narrative that’s helping to separate us, then I truly hope they enjoy the 70-mile-per-hour near-daily wind gusts they’ve earned by moving north.