Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, we had a chance to talk with Bill Erspamer, Commander at the Rock Springs Police Department. He recently graduated from the FBI National Academy, in which he was able to work alongside police officers from around the country on self-improvement and to bring back skills to improve the police department as a whole.
Bill is a Sweetwater County native and after some time away in Las Vegas, he and his wife decided to return to raise a family. Working as a United States Army medic, he has experienced plenty of life outside of Wyoming, and he can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Bill, why did you decide to go into law enforcement?
Really it was just a way to get back home. I was living in Las Vegas at the time but wanted to come back to Wyoming. I had some military and medical experience which qualified me for the job, and I thought I would do police work until I could get a job at one of the mines. Once I started, I immediately saw the impact law enforcement has on the community. I saw police officers showing compassion to victims of crime and bringing order to chaotic situations, and I wanted to be a part of that.
You recently graduated from the FBI National Academy. What was your experience like?
The FBI National Academy is a leadership training academy held in Quantico Virginia. Law enforcement professionals from all over the world are invited for ten weeks of training away from the distractions of real life. Being from small town Wyoming it was a little overwhelming at first but it was refreshing to learn that it doesn’t matter where you work; police in New York City have many of the same problems and concerns as police in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus on self improvement and hopefully bring some of that back to the Rock Springs Police Department.
How long have you been at the RSPD, and what is your role?
I’ve been with the Rock Springs Police Department for 16 years. I started in July of 2004 as a Patrol Officer. I’ve worked in patrol, investigations, supervision, and now administration. The opportunity to do so many things in one career is one of the reasons I love law enforcement. Each position has its own challenges and as much as you try to plan your day, you really never know what’s going to happen.
How did you end up in Rock Springs?
I was born in Rock Springs, raised in Green River and attended school in Laramie. I moved to Las Vegas in order to gain some EMS experience because I had been an Army medic and wanted to continue that work. My wife is also from Green River but we started dating while living in Las Vegas. We decided that we wanted to raise our family in Wyoming and started applying for jobs back home. That’s when I was hired by the Rock Springs Police Department.
What do you appreciate about our community?
This community has always been home for me and I can’t see myself living anywhere else. In my career I’ve seen some pretty bad things, but I’ve also seen the people of this community respond in unbelievable ways. When you see things like that, you know you’re in a good place.
What is something unique about you?
Mat Register and I opened the first Crossfit gym in the county, Red Desert Crossfit. Our gym has since moved on but Crossfit is still here and I love that I had a hand in that.
What are your some of your hobbies?
Another part of why I love living here is the access to public lands. I love hiking, camping, and hunting; anything that gets me outside. Nothing beats listening to Dave Walsh and the Wyoming Cowboys while sitting high on a mountain looking for elk. Go Pokes!
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Nothing is owed to you, if you want something in life you have to put the work in to earn it.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
My all time favorite place to hang out is the Little Mountain area.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse, or drive a car?
While I love hiking, nothing beats a long drive on a winding Wyoming highway listening to some Chris LeDoux.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Not going to happen.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
I love seeing other people succeed and I hope I’ve had a hand in developing the police officers in our agency. When they are successful and I’ve had a part of it is when I feel most accomplished.
Why do you choose to continue living in Wyoming?
Wyoming is what America was, and I hope to keep it that way. I love the freedom and way of life unique to Wyoming.
Do you have someone you think would be great for our WHYoming interviews? Let us know!