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Sheriff Commends Staff, Citizens in Annual Awards Ceremony

Undersheriff Mark Sellers, Sheriff Gus Holbrook, Nurse Karen Fuller, Cpl. Spencer Hard, Deputy John Bruce

Sheriff’s Office staff, civilians, and media gathered in a crowded meeting room on the second floor of Casper’s Hall of Justice, to witness Natrona County Sheriff Gus Holbrook handing out awards in a variety of categories, for meritorious service in 2016.


20 Years of Service Awards-

  • Sgt. Michael Hotard– Sgt. Hotard began his career in 1996, has risen through the ranks and is now a patrol sergeant. He has served as a Special Response Team member since 1998 and now serves as an team-leader for the S.R.T. sniper team.
  • Sgt. Diana Steinberg– Sgt. Steinberg began her career with the NCSO in 1996 as a part of the Natrona County Detention Center. Rising through the departmental ranks, she is now a Detention Sergeant. Her award specifically cited Sgt. Steinberg’s volunteer work, and her earning a degree in computer science while employed with the Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Mickey Anderson– Deputy Anderson began his career with the NCSO in 1996. Deputy Anderson has served in a resident deputy capacity for both Bar Nunn and Midwest, where he currently resides. He has been recognized for excellence in community relations and search and rescue.

Civilian Employee of the Year Award

  • Krista Reed– Employed with the NCSO since 2009, Chirsta was cited for saving thousands of dollars by scheduling and arranging prisoner transport that might otherwise have gone to private contractors. Krista serves as administrative assistant for three Sheriff’s Department Lieutenants, and assists with other duties in the department.

Detention Officer of the Year

  • Deputy Ashley Buchanan– Deputy Buchanan has served with the NCSO since 2005. Deputy Buchanan was specifically cited for service in the Detention Center Medical Services Division, to conduct inmate transports and provide services in inmate care. She has completed several training programs in her field and coordinated an inmate transfer for an individual with dementia into a care facility after the individual’s incarceration

Peace Officer of the Year Award

  • Investigator Taylor Courtney– Investigator Courtney has been with the NCSO since 2004. Currently he is assigned to investigate crimes related to sexual assault involving both juveniles and adults. In 2016 Investigator Courtney was given over 56 cases, most of which involved sexual assault. Investigator Courtney has proven himself working with victims and building trust.

Certificate of Commendation

  • Cpl. Spencer Hard, Deputy John Bruce, Nurse Karen Fuller– Recognized for a high degree of competence and professionalism in the performance of their duties; Cpl. Hard, Deputy Bruce, and Nurse Fuller were recognized for a specific incident on November 24th, where the three had to assist with a medical situation wherein an inmate at the Detention Center was unresponsive. Through quick decisive action the three were able to work together to identify the emergency inherent in the situation and get it resolved quickly, with the inmate being transported to an area hospital for care.

Civilian Certificated of Commendation

  • John Minsaas– Mr. Minsaas was not on hand to accept his award, however Sheriff Gus Holbrook insisted on reading the commendation, saying “this is important.” Minsaas was recognized for quick action involving a residential fire in Natrona County. Minsaas was said to be passing by when he observed the fire. He was able to exit his vehicle and alert the residents of the home to the danger. After the residents were outside the home, Minsaas attempted to extinguish the fire through any means necessary.

Life Saving Medal

  • Deputy Ryan Sheets– Deputy Sheets was awarded the Life-Saving Medal for providing used his medical equipment and Automated External Defibrillator to render aid to an unconscious man. Because of the remote nature of the call Life-Flight was dispatched to the scene. Once taken-over for by medical personnel, Deputy Sheets helped guide by radio and flashlight, the landing of the Life Flight helicopter.

Civilian Life Saving Medal

  • Francine Foss– Related to the incident for which Deputy Sheets was awarded his medal, a civilian earned a medal as well. The spouse of the victim, Francine Foss, was given the Civilian Life Saving Medal for providing CPR And first aid services to her husband. Following instructions given to her by dispatch, Ms. Foss was able to provide CPR for 12 minutes, before Deputy Ryan Sheets arrived on scene.

Life Saving Medal

  • Deputy Brett TeBeest- Deputy TeBeest responded to a call of an unconscious male. Upon arrival Deputy TeBeest took over for CPR duties from the man’s wife, and continued CPR even after paramedics arrived, allowing the paramedics to offer care through other means. Reports say that Deputy TeBeest conducted CPR for approximately 15 minutes. After that the Deputy assisted paramedics in preparing the man for transport

Civilian Life Saving Medal

  • Jonathon Zimmey, Craig Campbell– Zimmey and Campbell were recognized after a joint effort between the two men to rescue another man in danger of drowning. According to Sheriff Holbrook, Zimmey and a friend were swimming near Cottonwood Beach, when the cold water caused the other swimmer to cramp up. Zimmey managed to keep the man afloat and began swimming toward shore. However due to cold water and a significant size difference, Zimmey was struggling. Campbell, who was on a boat nearby was able to provide Zimmey with a life jacket. Campbell then dove into the water as the victim slipped beneath the surface. The victim was recovered and loaded onto Campbell’s boat and taken to shore. The victim was alert and able to answer questions when deputies arrived.

Oil City offers its sincerest congratulations to the citizens and Sheriff’s Office employees who were honored today, as well as the other members of the civilian and law enforcement communities who go above and beyond the call of duty to help their neighbors and communities.