SHERIDAN, WY— The Sheridan Commissioners expressed their concerns with Normative Services Incorporated (NSI) to the Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) on Tuesday.
A letter drafted by the County Commissioners to DFS Director Korin Schmidt stated that law enforcement, and members of the community, are concerned about the operation of NSI, specifically pertaining to an increasing number of incidents regarding runaway students, that have been on the rise over the last several years.
In 2017, the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office responded to 41 incidents at NSI, 22 of which were cases of runaway students that involved 40 juveniles. One case resulted in a stolen vehicle within the city limits of Sheridan.
Again in 2018, there were reportedly 36 incidents at NSI, 18 of which were runaway cases involving 29 juveniles. One of those cases resulted in a stolen vehicle, another resulted in a theft case, and three of those cases resulted in criminal trespass/entry charges. Of the trespassing cases, one juvenile was injured while attempting to fleeing the trespass situation.
As of the release of this story, the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office has responded to 35 incidents at NSI, with 21 of those incidents being runaway situations involving 36 juveniles. Four cases this year have resulted in stolen vehicles.
Neighbors and other members of the community are particularly concerned with their personal safety as well as the security of their property, according to the letter.
In the letter, the County Commission stated, “It is realistic to imagine that an escaped juvenile could be possibly wounded or killed by a neighbor is they perceive their property or family is being threatened. This is our worst fear.”
The commissioners stated that meetings between law enforcement and NSI to address the problem have not resulted in a reduction of incidents or calls for service.
Furthermore, the letter expressed curiosity as to why DFS chooses not to use the facility and asked the licensing agency to share any existing concerns with the facility that they may have.
A copy of the letter to DFS can be read here: Letter from Sheridan County Commission to DFS