There’s a new (under) sheriff in town
January 09, 2013
Kelly Wells looking forward to serving his hometown
Kelly Wells is second in command under Teton County Sheriff Tony Liford, recently hired as Chief Deputy for the public office. A retired officer with the Teton County, Wyo. Sheriff’s Office, Wells is most looking forward to serving his community on this side of the pass. Photo by Jeannette Boner
The new Chief Deputy for the Teton County Sheriff’s Office is more than happy that he doesn’t have to travel Teton Pass every morning for work. But above all he is looking forward to serving in the community that he is most connected with, his home here in Teton Valley.
“This came at a perfect time,” he said on Tuesday of the position at the Teton County, Idaho Sheriff’s Office. “I’m looking forward to assisting this agency and to giving back to my community.”
A former Training Sergeant with the Teton County, Wyo. Sheriff’s Office, Wells recently retired with more than 20 years working in various law enforcement positions on the other side of the pass. His first day on the job in Idaho was Dec. 19, 2012 and the New Year holds a lot of promise not only with his new position, but also for the Sheriff’s Office as a whole.
As Chief Deputy, Wells is the second in command of the office after Teton County Sheriff Tony Liford. Former Chief Deputy Rick Henry moved into the role of detective after Wells was hired. Wells is also joined by his wife, communication manager for the Sheriff’s Office, Valee Wells.
“I’ve received a nice welcome from the staff, from the prosecuting attorney, the courts and the people in the community have given me a lot of good feedback,” Wells said of the last few weeks on the job.
As Chief Deputy, Wells has some definitive goals for the office and the team of deputies. Above all, he said, he will work to maintain and improve overall communication with the various departments that interact and work with the Sheriff’s Office, including the general public.
“I think I’m easy to talk with and empathetic to people’s situations,” he said of his character. “I follow through on what I’m going to do and I lead by example.”
He defines leadership in two parts, understanding that the definition of a good leader is also one who can turn around and serve those whom he commands.
“I do buy into that,” Wells said of what he describes as a “servant leadership.” “Not only are you going to lead your people, but serve them as well. If you treat people right, they will treat you right.”
For Sheriff Tony Liford, having Wells as a second pair of eyes in the community is only a small piece of overall benefit of having Wells on staff. Wells is someone, said the Sheriff, who can continue to move the office forward.
“His integrity and work ethic are unquestioned,” Liford said. “This is the kind of guy I want in the office. Someone who’s worked in a great organization in Wyoming and with a new set of eyes to keep us moving forward. I think Kelly Wells is that man.”
“I’ve been blessed by great experiences and mentored by great people,” Wells added. “I want to bring that here. I want this place to be the most professional and pleasant place you can find.”