Park County’s former homeland security director is no longer employed by the county after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on Oct. 24. The Park County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Jack Tatum had his last day of employment on Friday.
“I’m disappointed he chose the direction he chose,” Park County Commissioner Chairman Lee Livingston said.
Tatum, 33, was pulled over by a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper while traveling on U.S. Highway 20-26 between Casper and Shoshoni. He is accused of exhibiting a .272% blood alcohol content. An opened bottle of vodka was found in his vehicle.
Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Sanstead responded to the road on a report of a pickup truck with “Park County Homeland Security” written on its side cut off another driver and was swerving across the road while traveling at speeds well below the speed limit.
When Sanstead first made contact with Tatum, he was traveling 44 MPH in the 70 MPH speed zone.
As Sanstead approached Tatum in his vehicle on the outskirts of the city, he said Tatum swerved to his left and then performed a U-turn, almost striking a traffic light pole on the north side of the road and entering into the median and the westbound lane of travel.
The smell of alcohol was emitting from Tatum and he was given a standard field sobriety test.
Tatum was unable to give a breath test after three attempts and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was unable to sit in the back of Sanstead’s patrol car due to his level of impairment and ended up being given a ride to the Natrona County Detention Center by a Sheriff’s deputy.
At the detention center he was able to successfully give a breath sample.
During the summer, Tatum had been approved for $167,852 in funding for his department to pay for a $82,000 mobile communications platform trailer, a new diesel pickup truck and other emergency response-related equipment.
Livingston confirmed he was not arrested in the new diesel truck.
Since being hired in June 2019, Tatum had been lauded for his performance on the job.
In his duties, he was responsible for planning, directing and overseeing the activities and emergency operations for the county and ensuring that local emergency operations response agencies and the general public are prepared for any hazard or emergency.
Although he worked under Park County Sheriff Scott Steward, he is not considered a law enforcement officer.