By TCSO Communication Center

Open letter from the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department on immigration


patch new black










Dear  Fellow Community Members:

We know a lot has been communicated over the last few months relative to possible changes in immigration policies and how these changes may affect people in the Town of Jackson and Teton County.   We are profoundly pleased to provide you a positive message in terms of what we know.

We are also pleased to tell you that the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Police Department have a very good relationship with the regional department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).   In fact, we had the opportunity to speak to the acting Field Office Director (Jeff Lynch) and three of his assistant supervisors yesterday.   Their offices are out of Denver, Colorado, but they cover Teton County.   The following are some assurances that we received from ICE:

1) There are no plans to conduct immigration raids in Teton County; either now or in the future.  If that policy ever changes, which they do not anticipate, they will make sure they let us know and then we can let you know.  Please trust us on that because it is the absolute truth.

2) They have not changed their policy on deporting people for committing minor traffic offenses.   The only exception might be for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which while being a traffic offense, certainly is not a minor one.  This is supported by the fact that no person has been deported from Teton County for a minor traffic offense since President Trump took office. The ICE officials did add that there could be circumstances where an individual is a habitual offender (multiple repeated traffic violations) where they might review that case for consideration of deportation, but the case would be the exception, not the rule and would have to be egregious in the number of traffic offenses. The example given by ICE was a recent case in Denver, Colorado where a gentleman with 39 traffic infractions was deported due to habitually offending the traffic laws.

3)  The focus of ICE continues to be the security of the border, the deportation of people that commit serious (felony) crimes or people with serious crime convictions.  Their focus is not on the deportation of those people committing lesser offenses such as driving without a valid license.

4) They will usually initiate deportation proceedings on those people that have been deported on previous occasions or have a current deportation order on file or a deportation warrant, regardless of what new offense they may have committed, whether minor or serious in nature. People with prior deportation proceedings on their record and commit a new crime should expect that a new deportation proceeding will be undertaken by ICE. The message in this is to NOT commit criminal offenses that would lead a person being in this situation in the first place.

5) ICE has always notified us in the past of when they will be coming to Jackson and they plan to continue that practice.  When they come to Jackson it is to locate known fugitives (criminals) from justice, not to conduct broad sweeps for immigration violations.

Local law enforcement (officers and deputies) will not be engaged in enforcing immigration laws.  They will only be enforcing Wyoming State law violations.  We ask that if you do come into contact with our local law enforcement officers to please cooperate and communicate freely with them.   This allows for an overall better result from that encounter.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of miscommunication disseminated in our community relating to what is going to happen.  We hope that this letter provides you with some sense of relief.   We have trust in what the regional ICE office tells us and now we only ask that you trust us.   We encourage you to continue to live, work and raise your families here with the knowledge you can do so without worrying if ICE is going to come knocking on your doors.

Our final message is this:

If you choose to be a contributing member of our community, and we hope  that you do,  please do so by living a life that is free of committing criminal offenses that puts others at risk, such as driving intoxicated, driving without a license or driving without insurance. Here in Teton County we have some of the highest rates of alcohol-related offenses in the State of Wyoming and we all need to be doing our part to keep our roadways safer for everyone who lives here.  We sincerely ask that you do your part as well.

Thank you and God Bless.


Jim Whalen                                                                         Todd Smith
Teton County Sheriff                                                         Jackson Police Chief


Immigration Letter (569 downloads)


Immigration Letter - Spanish (2221 downloads)

Your Assistance Requested — from Lower Valley Energy!

Residents in the Highway 390 and Teton Village area are asked to begin to curtail their power usage as Lower Valley brings electrical service back online to the Teton Village area.  Please unplug or turn off non critical electrical systems for the next few hours! —  TCSO Dispatch
Jackson, WY (2-11-17 11:20 am) Teton Village/Airport Outage Update
We currently expect to begin power restoration at 1pm today. The process could take the entire afternoon or longer. We will begin warming up the substation transformer which could take an hour. We will then begin to bring online the core commercial feeders first, then the rest of the affected area. We will then begin switching and rerouting power to neighborhoods around the airport – there may be momentary outages due to this switching. When bringing up so much power, there may be smaller outages and fuses failing – we will be alert and vigilant to these possibilities.
In anticipation of power restoration today, we request your assistance in bringing power back in the most stable way possible. We ask that you restrict your energy use to essential needs for the entire day, which includes reducing your heating and electronic usage. The area of curtailment would be the areas affected this week by the transmission poles failure. As we energize transformers and bring on feeders, the less load we serve, the more stability we can bring to the power restoration.
We would like to again extend our thanks to all the local and regional entities who have without hesitation sent tremendous resources to help us, most especially the 5 neighboring utilities: High Plains Power, Idaho Falls Power, Fall River Rural Electric, Bonneville Power, and Wasatch Electric, along with the crews from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The emergency services team headed by Rich Ochs at the Emergency Operations Center has been truly exceptional. We appreciate the patience, support and understanding of this community we are proud to serve.
We have our call center fully staffed at 733-2446.



Saturday Passport Day!

Big plans for spring break this year?  Always hard to get to the District Court Clerks Office during business hours to get that passport?

This Saturday, February 4th, The Clerk of District Court is please of offer a special Saturday Passport Application Day from 8am to 2pm!

Get those passport applications submitted or renewed before you make spring travel plans!

See the attached flyer for contact numbers and more information – be sure you know what you need before you show up!

Call the District Court Clerks office with questions!   307-733-2533

February-Passport-Flyer-Email-Version-.pdf (372 downloads)

Death of snowboarder at Targhee Ski Resort- Press Release


TCSO Patch web small




From the Office of the Sheriff
Teton County, Wyoming
Sheriff Jim Whalen

Press Release Kidd-SAR-Death.docx (358 downloads)


December 29, 2016

Re:  Lee Kidd Search and Recovery

At approximately 11:50 a.m. on Thursday, December 29th, a 34-year-old man, Lee Kidd, was found deceased and buried in snow  in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness  near the Grand Targhee ski area of Wyoming.  Kidd had been missing since December 23rd when he did not report to work.   His ski pass had been scanned at the Dreamcatcher lift at Grand Targhee Ski Resort at 10:45 a.m. that day.  Search teams have been looking for him ever since his disappearance.

He was found pursuant to information provided by a friend of Kidd’s to Teton County Sheriff’s Office investigators.  That information led searchers to the area.  Once in the area, searchers found a snowboard due to its bindings sticking up from the snow.    Searchers then started using  K-9 teams in order to try and locate Kidd.  One K-9 began showing interest in a specific area of the search.   Teams started to dig in this area, and  Kidd was located a short time later buried about two-feet deep in the snow.    It is presumed he had been buried since last Friday, the day he was reported missing.

The specific area where Kidd fell is a mountain bowl just to the northeast of  Steve Baugh Bowl.  This bowl, which is not skiable due to leading to an unavoidable 500 foot cliff, is very steep.  It is with confidence that rescuers believe Kidd fell from the cornice above the bowl, then fell the length of the bowl and then over the cliff.  He came to rest in the area that is known as “Beard’s Wheat Field.”  Kidd suffered severe trauma.  While cause of death is yet to be determined, preliminarily it is believed he didn’t survive the fall.

The search teams consisted of many organizations.  Special thanks to the Grand Targhee Ski Resort and the members their ski patrol.  Also heavily involved in the search was Teton County Search and Rescue, Teton County Sheriff’s Office and  Grand Teton National Park.   All searchers wanted to express condolences to the family and friends for their loss.

Sheriff Jim Whalen, while also offering condolences, wants also to  thank the very dedicated and hard working searchers.  They committed their time and energy through the holiday season in order to find Lee Kidd.  Even though the end result was tragic, those searchers deserve a big pat on the back.


For Further Information Contact:

Sheriff Jim Whalen
Teton County Sheriffs Office
180 South King Street
P.O. Box 1885
Jackson, WY 83001

New K-9 in Town!

imagejpeg_0Deputy Jesse Willcox and K-9 “Stitch” officially certified today in Rock Springs and will hit the street starting this Sunday.  Stitch easily certified in the detection of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and heroin and is looking forward to making our community a safer place to live and work!

Teton County Sheriff’s Office Blotter June 9th – June 15th





June 9

At approximately 10:51 P.M. a deputy responded to a REDDI report in the area of Highway 22 and Highway 89. The reporting party stated that a silver BMW was driving erratically speeding up, slowing down and tailgating. The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the BMW at Broadway near the Pink Gardner Plaza. The deputy detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver’s person. The driver consented to Field Sobriety tests of which he failed and was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Speeding and No Insurance.

At approximately 2:00 A.M. a deputy observed a motorcycle making a u-turn without signaling on Broadway near Virginian Lane. The motorcycle then continued westbound on Broadway where it made a left hand turn onto Scott Lane without signaling. The deputy conducted a traffic stop at Alpine Lane near Alameda Mexican Store. The operator of the bike could not produce a driver’s license which he stated was out of Texas. The deputy noticed signs of impairment such as glassy looking eyes and a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. The driver admitted to consuming “a shot of Campari and two Budweiser’s” The driver failed Standard Field Sobriety Tests and then refused to comply with a search warrant for a sample of his blood. He was taken into custody for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Expired Driver’s License, Fail to Signal, Expired Registration, Possession of Cocaine, and Interference with a Police Officer.


June 10

A Man reported that his neighbor had left him a threatening voicemail that contained profane and obscene language. The neighbor apparently was upset about the reporting party driving on a road in the Hoback area. The reporting party stated that the voicemail was not a direct threat of bodily injury or property damage but nonetheless wanted it to be documented.

A man from Colorado was issued a citation for Driving Under Suspension after a traffic stop revealed that his driver’s license was indeed suspended. The traffic stop was conducted on Highway 22 near milepost 15.


June 11

At approximately 11:16 P.M. a deputy clocked a vehicle traveling 51 in a 35 zone near Highway 390 and John Dodge. The vehicle was stopped at Highway 390 and Wilderness Drive. When asked for his driver’s license and insurance, the driver was only able to produce an expired insurance and registration card. Dispatch confirmed that the gentleman did not have a driver’s license. The man was cited for No Driver’s License, Speeding and No Insurance.

A little dog named “Lucky” was found near Highway 390 and the Stilson lot. Although the tag on the collar was worn off, the owner of “Lucky” was able to be contacted. Arrangements were made for dog and owner to be reunited.


June 12

A white Suburban was reported by three different callers that was driving on the bike path between Pratt Road and Skyline Ranch. A deputy contacted a similar looking vehicle in the Stilson parking lot but it turned out to not be the offending vehicle.

A woman reported that her ex-boyfriend had violated a no contact order between the two when he waved her over as she was driving down Pearl Avenue. The man asked the woman to meet him at the Visitor’s Center so they could talk without being seen. Once at the Visitor’s Center, the man yelled at the woman for telling the prosecutor that he needed to continue breath tests. The man eventually left the Visitor’s Center and the woman was able to call police. The no contact order was the result of a domestic dispute between the two a few weeks ago.


June 13

A deputy responded to a REDDI report of a dark colored Jeep that was swerving all over the road on Highway 390 north of Highway 22. The deputy came upon the Jeep stopped in a parking lot on private property where he made consensual contact with the driver. The deputy noticed several signs of intoxication while talking with the female driver. After consenting to Standard Field Sobriety Tests and failing, the woman was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.

A person in Wilson reported that they had been defrauded on Ebay when they purchased a vehicle for $8,700 dollars and then did not receive the vehicle as promised. The seller insisted that the transaction be by wire transfer. The victim of the fraud was advised to file the complaint with the federal fraud reporting website


June 14

A female that had eluded officers attempt at a traffic stop earlier in the evening was located at the Elk Refuge Inn after a deputy saw the vehicle in the parking lot. The female was contacted by the deputy and detained for the offense of Eluding as she was grabbing items from inside the vehicle. The female showed signs of intoxication and admitted to the officer that she had consumed alcohol before driving that night. The female failed Standard Field Sobriety Tests and was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Possession of Marijuana, and Eluding a Police Officer.

At approximately 6:25 A.M. a deputy observed a red Ford Ranger with Indiana license plates make a left turn from Pearl St. onto Cache without signaling. A traffic stop was conducted by the deputy near Pearl and Willow. Dispatched informed the deputy that the driver had a suspended license out of New Jersey. Due to the driver arriving in town in the last week and camping, the deputy felt the driver was a flight risk and an arrest was made in lieu of a citation.


June 15

A person reported to dispatch that his neighbor was getting ready to fly a drone near the airport and wanted to know if it was legal. A deputy advised the person with the drone that he needed to contact the airport for permission and advisement of the regulations.

A person reported that 12 wooden no trespassing signs were stolen in the last three weeks from The Jensen Ranch. The signs are valued at between $4,000 and $5,000 dollars. A deputy was dispatched to investigate.

TCSO Patch web small

Press Release

From the Office of the Sheriff
Teton County, Wyoming
Sheriff Jim Whalen



******************* Update at 6:25 pm **************

Teton County Sheriff’s Office Detectives have identified the deceased male as 16 year old Kayden Quinn Tapia of Star Valley.  Preliminary investigations revealed no obvious trauma to the victim, however further medical examination by the county Coroner is pending.  Detectives have also identified the four males referenced in the earlier press release and are currently conducting interviews with them.  The matter remains under investigation by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office.


On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at approximately 9:29 A.M., the Teton County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a human body found in a wooded area along the Snake River off of Highway 22 in an area commonly referred to as Emily’s Pond, east of Wilson.

Teton County Sheriff’s Deputies and Jackson Hole Fire & EMS were dispatched to the area and arrived at approximately 9:40 A.M. where CPR had been initiated by a bystander and a volunteer firefighter.  Paramedics attempted life saving measures for approximately 33 minutes, however the victim was unable to be resuscitated.  The cause of death is unknown at this time and the matter is being investigated by Teton County Sheriff’s Detectives as suspicious.   Teton County Sheriff’s Detectives have also requested the assistance of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Lab Unit to search and process the area for evidence.

It  has been reported to sheriff’s detectives that there were four, white male individuals, seen leaving the area shortly before the body was located.  They may have left the area in a white or cream colored SUV type of vehicle.  Sheriff’s detectives would like to speak with these individuals as they are considered “persons of interest”.

The name and age of the victim is not being released at this time pending family notifications.

Contact:  Lieutenant Tom Combs

Teton County Sheriffs Office
180 South King Street
P.O. Box 1885
Jackson, WY 83001

06.14.2016-press-release-UPDATE-2.pdf (475 downloads)

Press Release from the Utah Transit Authority Police Department – Missing Vehicle

Lincoln County has located Mr Ricks, however the vehicle involved is still missing.  If you have any information or locate the vehicle, please don’t enter it as it has likely been involved in a crime.  Contact the Sheriff’s Office Communication Center and we can get you in touch with the Utah Transit Authority Police Department.

Press-Release-Missing-Person-UTA-PD-05152016.pdf (491 downloads)

Teton County Sheriff’s Office Blotter May 5th through May 11th

May 5, 2016

A subject living in the area of Hoback wanted to speak with a Deputy regarding threats that they were receiving.  The reporting party did not wish to leave a phone number and did not call back, thus deputies were unable to contact the reporting party.

Deputies assisted the Cheyenne Police Department in a case of identity theft as the suspect had been using the stolen identity in areas of Teton County.

A resident of a private subdivision reported an ongoing issue with people trespassing.  The subdivision is posted no trespassing.  A vehicle description and license plate were given to the Deputy who made contact with the suspects.  The Deputy advised them to stop trespassing in the subdivision.  The subjects agreed to stop.

A Deputy responded to the Jackson Hole High School for a report of a Hit and Run Collision.  The reporting party witnessed the vehicle and was able to note a license plate number.  The victim wished to wait and see if the suspect would contact them regarding the collision.

A deputy noticed a vehicle driving erratically in the Town of Jackson and conducted a traffic stop. The driver was subsequently arrested for DUI.

May 6

Deputies assisted with traffic control when a truck had collided with a power pole. The Wyoming Highway conducted the accident report and Lower Valley Energy repaired the damage

A high school student’s parent reported that their child had received a text message from another student calling them names and threatening them.  The matter is under investigation.

Parents reported that their child was assaulted by a neighbor and fellow student.  Interviews and investigation were conducted.  Because of the ages of those involved the case was given to the County Attorney Attorney’s Office for review and possible charges.

A head on collision was reported on Teton pass.  One subject was trapped in the vehicle and required extrication and was air lifted from the scene.  Deputies assisted with traffic control and the closure of Teton Pass.  Wyoming Highway Patrol and apparatus from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS also responded.

May 7

In the early morning hours shortly after midnight, a Deputy witnessed a vehicle traveling in the wrong lane of traffic.  The Deputy stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver who showed signs of impairment.  Upon further investigation Deputies arrested the driver for DUI.

Deputies arrested a subject after they made an illegal turn witnessed by the officers.  Contact with the driver by Deputies found the subject was exhibiting signs of chemical impairment.  After a field investigation, the subject was arrested for DUI.

Deputies responded to a call from a Game and Fish Officer who reported a person looking for antlers on private property.  Deputies responded to the incident to determine if the person had permission from the property owner.

A Deputy responded to Hwy 22 because of a reported rock on the road creating a hazard.  The Deputy was able to clear the rocks from the roadway.

May 8

A Deputy responded to the area of Teton Pass for a reported Road Hazard of rocks in the roadway.  The Deputy assisted the Wyoming Highway Patrol and Wyoming Department of Transportation to clear the roadway.

A report of a possible lightning fire on Teton Pass was reported by a member of the public.  A Deputy responded to the area but could not locate a fire.

Deputies went to the area Fish Creek Road in Wilson to check for possible flash flooding.  No flooding had occurred.

May 9

A Deputy stopped a vehicle that was driving recklessly on Teton Pass.  The vehicle was traveling 95 miles per hour in a posted 55 mile per hour zone.  The driver was arrested  and cited for reckless driving and speeding.

A Deputy responded to a trespassing violation reported by a property owner.  A building contractor was burning debris on the owner’s property.  The deputy was able to resolve the issue with the contractor.

A Deputy responded to a request from Grand Teton National Park to accompany a Park Ranger to a subject’s house.  The Park Ranger wished to question the subject regarding an incident in Grand Teton National Park.

May 10

In the early morning hour travelers on Teton Pass reported difficulty traveling the pass due to winter driving conditions.  A Deputy responded to aid those traveling.  The pass was closed to trailer traffic because of winter conditions.  Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplows were due to begin plowing shortly thereafter.

A Deputy responded for Wyoming Highway Patrol to South Highway 89 for a report of a dog near the roadway.  The owner was contacted and the dog was returned.

Deputies responded to a forest service campground for a REDDI (report every drunk driver immediately) Report.  The Deputies were unable to locate the suspect vehicle.

May 11

Deputies responded to the Old Pass Road regarding a complaint of a male driving an older pickup truck throwing glass on the ground.   When deputies arrived the truck had left the area.  The Deputies checked the area for glass and none was found.

A Deputy was summoned to the area just north of Jackson on Highway 89 regarding an unresponsive subject.  When contact was made, the subject believed that he may have an active warrant.  The subject was in possession of an identification card.  An NCIC check of the subject did not produce any extraditable warrants.  After determining that the subject did not need medical attention and was not wanted, the Deputy cleared the area.

A concerned citizen reported a possible sighting of the van described in the Amber Alert from Tennessee on the highway south of Jackson.  The vehicle was located a short time later in the parking lot at First Interstate Bank.  The vehicle was empty, had local plates and did not match the suspect vehicle.

Deputies responded to a residence because a home owner reported a neighbor was at the residence and was intoxicated.  The reporting party stated that neighbor had been pounding on the door and trying to start a fight.  Deputies found the neighbor lying down in front of the reporting party’s door.  A Deputy walked the neighbor to their home.  The reporting party did not want to sign a complaint.