From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 9 - May 29, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Who's new in the sheriff's department

by Rhonda Swain

In the last year, the Sublette County Sheriff's Department has seen several changes in personnel. Some members serve in the Wyoming National Guard, and were sent oversees in January to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. To fill those positions until the servicemen's return, and for other openings, SCSD has hired several new people.

Andrew Mackenzie, a Pinedale patrol deputy, joined SCSD in February. Prior to becoming an SCSD officer, Mackenzie served in the United States Navy, living in San Diego for a year. He also attended the University of Wyoming, and spent four years in Laramie studying criminal justice as an undergraduate. While working toward his master's degree at UW, Mackenzie was also a criminal justice graduate assistant. Other law-enforcement service prior to his move to Sublette County included working as a state park ranger.

Mackenzie earned a bachelor's degree in political science as well as a master's in public administration, both at UW.

His wife and two children moved to Pinedale with him.

K.C. Lehr is a 16-year Sublette County resident who returned to the area in March after serving as a deputy sheriff for Mohave County in Bullhead City, Ariz. Lehr is currently a deputy assigned to patrol the Pinedale area, but will soon be promoted to detective status, a position that is countywide.

Lehr grew up in Big Piney before heading to South Dakota for four years to pursue an education at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and biology. He also attended a 16-week P.O.S.T academy in Arizona during his five-year stay there, and was certified as a field training officer and general instructor.

Lehr said there were three factors that contributed to his applying for the Sublette County job: location, climate and the community/people.

"I think the mountain men and Native Americans best summed up what is presently Sublette County when they referred to it as 'The garden beyond the Tetons,' he said. After living in the Mohave Desert for five years at 120-plus degrees in summer temps, minus-40 doesn't seem so bad. You can always put on more clothes, but can only take off so many," he said of the climate he grew up in.

Last, Lehr said Sublette County is one of the best areas to raise a family and that "one of the most difficult transitions I had was reconditioning myself to wave at everyone."

Upon graduating from Arizona's law-enforcement academy, Lehr was chosen by his class members as their "exemplary recruit."

Lehr's wife, Rebecca, is a second-grade teacher, and they enjoy the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. Of a family, Lehr said they have "No children, yet!"

Brian K. Sparks moved to Sublette County from Everett, Pa., in April after living in Everett for 30 years. He was a deputy sheriff in Bedford County Pennsylvania for two-and-a-half years, and now serves as a patrol deputy in Pinedale. Sparks got his law-enforcement training in Bedford County.

One of the reasons for the move to Pinedale is that Sparks and his wife, Hillary, a medical secretary, "love the area in and around Pinedale," where they like hunting, fishing, hiking and riding motorcycles.

Dan Jensen is one face that is not so new at SCSD, as he started with the sheriff's department in June of 2001, and currently serves as a deputy. Jensen said the area of the county he covers depends on his schedule.

He grew up in the Boulder area, working on the family ranch and in the oilfield while he attended Pinedale High School. Jensen then attended Central Wyoming College in Riverton, the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas and the DDI in Vail, Iowa.

Three months ago, Jensen was assigned a two-and-a-half-year-old black lab named Apollo. Dawn Alexander is the only other deputy with a drug detector dog.

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