A sexual assault discussion panel scheduled for May 18th, will be postponed to an as-yet undetermined date, this according to a brief statement sent to media by the Casper Police Department.
“The second Sexual Assault Panel Discussion, originally scheduled for May 18, is postponed. The panel discussion will be rescheduled at a date and time to be announced. Due to the leadership change at the Department, additional planning and coordination time is required.”
The postponement comes just days after it was announced that former Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel would not continue to head the law enforcement agency. Interim City Manager, Liz Becher, made the announcement that the City of Casper had decided to go in a “new direction” for leadership of the Casper Police Department. Captain Steve Schulz has since been appointed as the Interim Police Chief.
The sexual assault panel was scheduled to be the second such panel, which has already had a rocky history. A discussion panel about sexual assault was announced by the District Attorney’s office and the Casper Police Department, and had originally been planned for February. However, officials say that discussion was rescheduled due to an unanticipated conflict with moderator availability. The event was then expanded to two nights, the first in early April and the second for May 18th. The May 18th discussion is the one being postponed.
In a statement sent earlier this year, Police said that the second panel discussion would focus on the questions generated and submitted during the first session, as well as strategies, recommendations, ideas, and solutions to the identified challenges and issues. It is unknown if this will remain the focus when the session is rescheduled.
The panel discussions came in the wake of several women speaking out publicly during regular sessions of city council, alleging mishandling of sexual assault investigations by the Casper Police Department.