Lt. Jerry Wilson
Photo by George Lauby
A North Platte lawman with more than 40 years of active law enforcement experience will retire soon.
Lt. Jerry Wilson of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will retire Oct. 2.
Wilson has been with the sheriff’s office since December 1980, when he was hired as a patrol sergeant by Sheriff Gordon “Hop” Gilster. Just six years later, Wilson was promoted to chief deputy, where he served until the end of Sheriff Jim Carman’s term in 2006.
Wilson then became the operations lieutenant for Sheriff Jerome Kramer and has served in that capacity for the last five years.
Wilson began his law enforcement career much earlier. In 1969, he joined the North Platte Police Department, where he served nearly 10 years.
In 1979, Wilson left that job and briefly worked for the Union Pacific Railroad, but soon applied for a job with the sheriff’s office.
“The railroad is a great job, but it wasn’t my cup of tea,” Wilson said. “After starting at the sheriff’s office, I woke up every morning for 31 years with the desire to go to work.”
Wilson thanks his wife, Carol, along with the rest of his family and friends for supporting him throughout his career.
Wilson said one of his most intense experiences in law enforcement came when he had to search the home of Sutherland mass murderer Charles Simants.
On Oct. 18, 1975, 29-year-old Charles Simants walked across the street from his house in Sutherland and killed six of his neighbors in cold blood.
Henry Kellie, his wife Audrey and their three grandkids were found dead. The father of the two youngest grandchildren, David, apparently managed to call for an ambulance but died shortly after he was taken to the hospital in North Platte.
A statewide manhunt was ordered and people were told to stay in their homes.
Wilson was assigned the job of searching Simants’ home.
“I’ll never forget the adrenaline rush it gave me,” Wilson told the Bulletin.
But Simants was not there. The next morning, he surrendered to authorities and the manhunt ended.
Those days are now in the past, and Wilson says he’s going to spend a lot more time with family now, relaxing at a pool table in his home. He doesn’t want a going-away party, but cards can be sent to him at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office on 302 No. Jeffers in North Platte.
Wilson's retirement caps a series of promotions and staff changes at the sheriff's office.
Roland Kramer, other promotions
Wilson commended the recently appointed chief deputy, Roland Kramer. Kramer was promoted to chief deputy Aug. 1 by Sheriff Jerome Kramer.
Kramer has worked at the sheriff's office since November 1994. He was promoted in early July from sergeant to operations lieutenant, then to chief deputy.
He fills the position formerly held by Dean Sparks, who resigned in May after he violated a protection order.
In related promotions, former Sgt. Daniel Newton has been appointed operations lieutenant, replacing Roland Kramer. Newton has been with the office since January 1995.
Corporals Dustin Achenbach and Wayne Connell were both promoted to sergeant. Connell has been with the office since August 1999 and Achenbach joined the office in October 2001.
To fill Achenbach and Connell’s former slots, Deputies Larry Meyer and Merit Newman were promoted to corporals. Newman joined the department in January 2001. Meyer joined in August 2005.