Chief vs. Chief

By: 
Ethan Brogan ethan@glenrockind.com

In the Glenrock Police Department, Chief Tim Hurd sits behind his desk constantly refreshing his computer screen. On it, are the donations pouring in from residents around town. They are donating cash for the Special Olympics, but Hurd has one focus: getting his police car washed and waxed by Douglas Police Department Chief Ron Casalenda.
When Hurd attended a Joint Powers Board meeting two weeks ago, Casalenda bet Hurd he could raise more cash for Special Olympics.
“I just flapped my jaws like I have a tendency to do and I said ‘hey, I can raise more money than you,’” Casalenda said. “And he accepted the challenge.”
Hurd quickly went to work setting up donation boxes around town and taking in ideas from GPD officers. One idea was to set up a raffle with Glenrock High School students to be escorted to prom. Hurd ran with the idea and now via GPD police cars, Glenrock Volunteer Fire Department trucks and a Memorial Hospital of Converse County ambulance students will ride in style to the dance this Saturday.
“We are going to give it one heck of a battle cry to try and beat him straight up,” Hurd said.
The chiefs have until April 25 to raise more cash than the other. He has been scrambling as Casalenda had more than $850 raised already when Hurd accepted the challenge. But now Hurd is more confident than ever he will defeat Casalenda.
“I don’t want to say he cheated, but he sure baited me into a challenge in which he clearly had the advantage,” Hurd said with a smile. “I started laughing. . . it is for a good cause.”
The loser will have to trek to the winner’s jurisdiction and wash their squad car from top to bottom.
“He threw the gauntlet down, he challenged me,” Hurd said. “And like an idiot, I said OK.”
Although, both Hurd and Casalenda talk a big game, they both are about the charity aspect.
“It’s a win-win for Special Olympics,” Casalenda said. “If, and I say with emphasis, if he beats me, that means he’s gotta raise a big chunk-of-change for Special Olympics.”
The DPD’s main cash grabber is the Jackalope Jump. Residents will gather outside of Douglas High School April 25 to take a plunge in a dive tank to raise money for Special Olympics.
Since the early 1990s, Casalenda has been actively involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), a worldwide fundraiser for Special Olympics. Then Laramie Police Department Officer Dale Stalder asked him to rally together officers to participate in the run and Casalenda has been more involved with raising money for Special Olympics every year.
“Right now, in 2016 we (LETR) is over $54 million worldwide,” Casalenda said speaking of the money the organization has raised.
Adding local events, such as the Jackalope Jump and Tip-a-Cop Indian Taco Feed, Casalenda feels Special Olympics is something he deeply cares for.
Hurd feels entering this competition for a cause such as Special Olympics is the best way to represent GPD’s law enforcement style.
“It’s a big part of community policing for me,” he said. “Just to have the agencies interacting together for this cause. . . it helps the relationships between two communities and the police departments.”
Between dishing out trash-talk and rallying Glenrock’s community, Hurd has been more than vocal about beating Casalenda.
“When he calls the police department he says ‘this is your arch-enemy,’” Casalenda said with a laugh. “He’s pumping it up. It’s really cool.”
At the end of the day, it is all about the camaraderie for Hurd.
“For me it’s fun,” he said. “I just think it’s absolutely a great thing to do for the charity and I’m having a blast just busting his chops.”
The winner and location of the car washing ceremony will be announced after all the cash is tallied.

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