For the first time in 20 years, there's a new sheriff in town.

Brian Kozak was sworn in as Laramie County's top lawman Tuesday morning, replacing five-term Sheriff Danny Glick, who did not seek reelection in 2022.

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While new to the Laramie County Sheriff's Office, Kozak is no stranger to the area.

He served as Cheyenne's police chief for 11 years prior to his dismissal and subsequent retirement in January 2021.

Kozak's first official act as sheriff was to swear in his new command staff -- Undersheriff Chance Walkama and Chief Deputies Perry Rockvam and Aaron Veldheer.

The three, who underwent background investigations and met the phycological and physical testing required by state law, fill the vacancies of those previous supervisors who retired.

"I am very proud to bring you an experienced leadership team; a team specially selected to lead our Sheriff’s Office to stand strong to protect Laramie County," Kozak said in a news release.

"I would like to thank Wyoming State Park Rangers for completing the background investigations and Sheriff Glick for his 42 years of service," Kozak added.

More information about Walkama, Rockvam, and Veldheer can be found below.

Undersheriff Chance Walkama

Undersheriff Walkama has 14 years of law enforcement experience, starting his career with the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office as a detention deputy and K-9 handler. He has been with the Pine Bluffs, WY Police Department for nine years, serving as their police chief for the last three years. Chance is an Air Force veteran and currently serves as a commissioned officer in the Wyoming National Guard. He holds a master’s degree in human resources and a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Sheriff Kozak said, “Undersheriff Walkama has the military leadership experience and graduate education in human resources/finance I was looking for. He will supervise our recruitment efforts and agency budget. Chance worked hard to develop community policing in Eastern Laramie County and will help the Sheriff’s Office rebuild those relationships.”

*Chief Deputy Perry Rockvam

Chief Rockvam has 30 years of law enforcement experience. He was a Cody, WY police officer for 20 years, serving as their chief of police for 11 years. Chief Rockvam implemented best practices in training, policy, and career retention at Cody PD. He has also served with the Mesa, AZ Police Department and the Custer and Pennington County Sheriff’s Departments in South Dakota. Perry is a veteran (sergeant) of the United States Marine Corps, a pastor, and an experienced counselor.

Sheriff Kozak said, “Chief Rockvam and I were police motorcycle partners in Mesa. He went on to lead the Cody, Wyoming Police Department, implementing best practices in policing. Perry is a pastor/counselor and understands the key to crime reduction is science-based jail programming. Perry is the type of leader we need to recruit and retain talented employees to work in our jail.”

*Chief Deputy Aaron Veldheer

Chief Veldheer retired from the Eagle County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office last week after 20 years of service. He commanded the detective unit and had 14 years of experience as a narcotics and criminal investigator. Aaron is a drug recognition expert instructor and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He graduated from the FBI leadership Institute and the County Sheriffs of Colorado Supervisor Institute.

Sheriff Kozak said, “As the Avon police chief, I was impressed with Aaron’s efforts to promote teamwork between the Sheriff and first responder agencies; this is what we need to do here! Aaron is an expert in criminal and narcotic investigations and will help our detectives and patrol deputies collaborate with others to put criminals in jail.

* The rank of chief deputy has replaced the rank of captain.

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