Meet the Police Department staff
October 1, 2020
The Independent Record is doing a series on local first responders to introduce them to our community members.
This week we start with the members of the Thermopolis Police Department.
Julie Mathews began her law enforcement career in 1999, with the Riverton Police Department. She started as a communication officer and worked her way to patrol, and into investigations, leaving as the first female Detective Sergeant.
January of 2019, she was appointed as the Chief of Police for the Town of Thermopolis. Mathews’ father in law, Melvin Mathews was once the Chief of Police in Thermopolis.
Mathews is dual certified in both patrol and communications and frequently fills in shifts when necessary. She has a passion for law enforcement and will continue to work towards fulfilling the needs of the community and higher standards within the department.
Sergeant Pat Corwell worked for the Park County Sheriff’s Department for nine years prior to moving his family from Powell to Thermopolis in 2003.
He joined the Thermopolis Police Department in February of 2003 and was promoted to Sergeant under Mark Nelson’s administration.
Officer Bobbi Byrd assists agencies such as Sheriff’s Department, Department of Family Services, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Probation and Parole. She serves as the Public Relations Officer.
“As an officer what makes me unique is the integrity I have when working, helping civilians knowing they are safe in any situation. I have the ability to have their trust. I have learned that no matter what I have the resilience to bounce back and know my true worth in this profession and my love for this community,” said Byrd
Officer Scott Gardner is from Michigan, born in Detroit. He served in the United States Air Force in the early 1990s. After discharge he worked in the aircraft and automotive tool and die industry until 2001 when he attended college full time acquiring a degree in Criminal Justice.
In 2006, he moved to Wyoming and worked as a Sergeant for the Wyoming Department of Corrections at the Honor Farm. He then transferred to the Riverton Police Department as a Patrol Officer. He came to the Thermopolis Police Department in April of 2019 as a patrol officer. His duties include Field Training Officer, Proactive Patrol, Traffic Enforcement, and Investigation of crimes as assigned.
“What makes me unique would be that I have done much more than just the 15 years of law enforcement those experiences help me in my day to day interactions and decisions in the performance of my duties to the Thermopolis community,” said Gardner
Officer Mike Mascorro came to the Thermopolis Police Department in 2016. He has a prior military background and enjoys serving his community. Officer Mascorro has attended and successfully completed numerous drug related trainings. Officer Mascorro is also a Field Training Officer. His focus is in traffic control and drug enforcement.
Officer Jessica Araiza, was born in Riverton but raised in the small town of Orange Cove, Calif. After graduating high school she relocated to Wyoming and attending Central Wyoming College and MSU-Northern. A few years after attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, she was offered the opportunity at the Thermopolis Police Department.
“Thermopolis is a small town but nonetheless a great area to learn proper police work. I have a great group of co-workers who I have gained a lot of knowledge and guidance from. It is such a pleasure to serve my community and work under such an honorable leader,” said Araiza.
Katie Baker was born and raised in Littleton, Colo., and was recently hired by the Thermopolis Police Department as an Animal Control Officer and part-time Communications Officer.
Baker recently completed 20 years of service with the US Army as a Logistics Officer and has been stationed in South Korea, Georgia, Germany, Washington state and Louisiana. She looks forward to serving the community and exploring Wyoming on her days off.
Laura Leseberg began work in law enforcement in Laramie in 1989, first in dispatch for UWPD, then in Animal Control for LPD, leaving there in 2001 when her husband retired from law enforcement.
Leseberg made her return to law enforcement and began her position with the Thermopolis Police Department in 2017 as a part time administrative assistant. She eventually increased her hours to include dispatch part time.
She is a Wyoming native, born in Jackson and raised in the Pavillion area.
Michel Snyder was born in Wyoming but grew up mostly in Nevada. She returned to Wyoming in 1999 when she started her law enforcement career as a Communications Officer in Riverton and left there as the Communications Supervisor.
Snyder also worked for the Combined Communications Center in Cheyenne as an administrator.
She is currently the Communications Supervisor for the Thermopolis Police Department.
Police department personnel who chose not to be featured include: Judy Randall, Mel Kress and Ken Smith.
Next week, we will feature members of the Thermopolis Volunteer Fire Department during National Fire Prevention Week.