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Tribune Staff

When the economy turns bad, communities are faced with tough choices.

One of those choices for the city of Powell was to impose a hiring freeze for this fiscal year. Under that policy, employees who leave their jobs will not be replaced.

Recently, the Powell Police Department became the first city agency to feel the impact of that policy with the resignation of one officer. His departure, coupled with the deployment of another officer with the Wyoming National Guard, has left the department two officers short of its ideal strength.

Chief Tim Feathers has said the situation is a normal part of the life of the department, and the department can adjust in the short term, but in the long term, it will become more difficult.

Under normal circumstances, public safety likely will not be compromised, but emergencies do arise, and there will be fewer officers to deal with them. The smaller force will mean longer hours for the officers and make it more difficult to cover for officers who are ill or on vacation. It likely will add to the stress of what already is a stressful job.

In the long term, it may not even save much money. As Mayor Scott Mangold noted, overtime costs could wipe out much of the savings from a hiring freeze.

Instituting a hiring freeze was the proper course of action given the uncertainty of the economy, but such a policy can't be set in stone. Our city leaders realize that, of course, and both Mangold and Feathers say they will be watching carefully to make sure public safety isn't compromised and that the morale of the police force is not damaged. Should that happen, Mangold has said the city would consider lifting the freeze and allow the hiring of another officer.

In the meantime, it is important for local citizens to support our law enforcement personnel. They have a tough job, and it's up to us not to make it any tougher.

(Sept. 20, 1949 - Sept. 20, 2010)

Bob “BBQ” Johnston of Lovell died Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 in Powell. He was 61.

He was born Sept, 20, 1949, in Nurnberg, Germany to Thomas B. and Jerrie L. (Templeton) Johnston.

He attended the Powell Church of Christ and was interested in Harley Davidsons, music, photographs, having fun and spending time with friends and family.

He was loved by his family and friends, who are thankful for their memories of Bob and will keep him in their hearts.

He was preceded in death by his mother; stepfather James Bush; brothers Tom Bush and Jim Bush; and grandparents Mary Lou and Bud Templeton.

Bob is survived by his son Robert Johnston of Lovell; daughter Julie (Wayne) Moore of Sand Springs, Okla., Desaree Johnston of Lovell and Kayla Johnston of Lovell; sisters Jerrie (Chip) Acridge of Antioch, Calif., and Susan Bush of Kingman, Ariz.; brother Mike (April) Bush of Martinez, Calif.; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 2 at noon at the Powell Church of Christ, with Pastor Gerry Parker officiating.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

(Oct. 9, 1955 - Sept. 28, 2010)

Christy Elizabeth Davis, 54, died Tuesday, Sept. 28 of complications from ovarian cancer.

(Feb. 15, 1940 - Sept. 27, 2010)

James M. Bessler, 70, of Powell, died Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, in Billings, Mont.

(Sept. 12, 2010)

Homer C. Stoudt left his earthly home of Lubbock, Texas at the age of 78 on Sunday, September 12, 2010. His parents were Harold and Alice Stoudt, long time residents of Powell. He left his sweetheart of over 61 years, Inez Stoudt and his children Janet Short of Lubbock, and Victor Stoudt and wife Kathy of Kyle, Texas. Others that will miss him are five grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

(Aug. 1, 1937 - Sept. 25, 2010)

Charles Joseph Chromy, 73, of Reno, NV (Formerly of New Prague, MN and Cody, WY) died Sept. 25, 2010, Saturday evening at his home in Reno, NV.

(Sept. 27, 2010)

The Rev. John W. Akre, 73, of Billings, formerly of Kenyon, Minn., died unexpectedly on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010.

{gallery}09_28_10/quickdraw{/gallery}

Spectators gather around former Powell resident Blake Neubert as he adds extra touches to his untitled pastel drawing during the 29th Annual Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale Quick Draw event at the Robbie Powwow Garden at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center Saturday morning. Neubert joined some 40 other artists — including painters and sculptors — for the Quick Draw hour, which was followed by an auction to sell the recently created pieces. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

But some still waiting to see

While some Northwest College employees say the college environment is getting better as mediation progresses, they fear the change is temporary. Others are more hopeful, while still other employees say things haven't changed.

Fred Ebert, instructor in speech communications and forensics, described the feeling on the college campus as one of disengagement while people wait to see what happens.

Powell police first to feel effects

With the city in a hiring freeze and an officer away from the department, Powell police will be stretched a little thin for the foreseeable future.

Officer Matt Danzer left the department Sept. 9 to take a policing job in Bozeman, Mont., and because of the hiring freeze in effect at the city of Powell, he will not be replaced. Meanwhile, Officer Chad Glick has been on a 12-month deployment with the Wyoming National Guard since June.

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