Montana Highway Patrol
|Montana Highway Patrol|
|Employees||294 (as of 2014) |
|Operations jurisdiction||Montana, USA|
|Montana Highway Patrol Districts|
|Size||147,165 square miles (381,160 km2)|
|Population||998,199 (July 2011 estimate)|
|Troopers||237 (as of 2014)|
|Civilians||57 (as of 2014) |
|Parent agency||Montana Department of Justice|
|Stations||8 District and 1 Head Quarters|
|Montana Highway Patrol site|
The Montana Highway Patrol was founded in 1935 after Montana led the nation with a 74% increase in highway fatalities. Twenty-four recruits taken from an application pool of over 1500 were selected to attend the first Highway Patrol Recruit Academy, and on May 1, 1935 those recruits took to the highways. Though authorized to enforce the eleven traffic laws in existence at that time, the Montana Highway Patrol's main focus was to educate and assist the public.
In 1988, they became the first state highway patrol in the nation to become nationally accredited. The accreditation process took three years to complete and was considered a critical element in enhancing the professionalism of the Montana Highway Patrol.
The Montana Highway Patrol currently have four specialty units that Troopers can be assigned to. They are:
• Executive Protection (EP)
• Special Response Team (SRT)
• Criminal Interdiction Team (CIT)
• Safety Enforcement Traffic Team (SETT)
The Montana Highway Patrol also operates an aviation divisions, which includes helicopter pilots and drone pilots.
In recent years there has been a movement by the citizens of Montana to restructure the Montana Highway Patrol into a State Police Agency; however, there has not been any formal conversations regarding this change.
The Montana Highway Patrol is divided into eight districts.
MCA 61-1-101 (28) "Highway patrol officer" means a state officer authorized to direct or regulate traffic or to make arrests for violations of traffic regulations.
There are eight districts that the MHP operates in throughout the state.
District I (Missoula) – Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, and Sanders counties
District II (Great Falls) – Cascade, Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, Teton, and Wheatland counties
District III (Butte) – Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Powell, and Silver Bow counties
District IV (Billings) – Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, and Yellowstone counties
District V (Glendive) – Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Valley, and Wibaux counties
District VI (Kalispell) – Flathead, Lake, and Lincoln counties
District VII (Bozeman) – Broadwater, Gallatin, Madison, Meagher, and Park counties
District VIII (Havre) – Blaine, Chouteau, Glacier, Hill, Liberty, Phillips, Pondera, and Toole counties
The Highway Patrol's mission is to safeguard the lives and property of the people using the highway traffic system of Montana through education, service, enforcement, and interagency cooperation.
The Patrol's 243 patrol officers cover great distances to police Montana's highways, assist other law enforcement agencies, and help motorists in need. Each year, the men and women of the Patrol:
- drive more than 5,500,000 miles (8,900,000 km)
- respond to over 70,000 calls for service
- issue more than 85,000 arrest tickets and more than 100,000 warning tickets
The Montana Highway Patrol uses a variety of lethal and non-lethal weapons, the weapons that are in use by the department are as follows:
- .357 SIG Sauer P229R
- Beretta 1301 Tactical
- Colt AR-15 and Rock River Arms M-4 Carbine style AR-15 MHP also have Military Surplus M-14 Rifles.
- OC (Oleoresin capsicum) Spray* Taser X2
Since the establishment of the Montana Highway Patrol in 1935, eight officers have died while on duty.
|Rank||Name||Date of Death||Cause of Death||Age||Location|
|Patrolman||Robert G. Steele||11-02-1946||Shot and killed while on a traffic stop with a car that was used in a robbery||30||On Highway 10; exact location N/A|
|Patrolman||James H. Anderson||07-24-1954||Killed after being struck by a vehicle while on a traffic stop||47||Near Livingston, Montana|
|Patrolman||Richard E. Hedstrom||07-19-1973||Killed after being struck by a drunk driver while on a traffic stop||24||In Columbia Falls, Montana|
|Patrolman||Michael M. Ren||04-08-1978||Shot and killed after a high-speed pursuit ended in a wreck||30||In Eureka, Montana|
|Trooper||David A. Graham||10-09-2007||Killed after being struck head-on by a pickup truck in the wrong lanes||36||On Highway 2 in Kalispell, Montana|
|Trooper||Evan Frederick Schneider||08-26-2008||Killed making a U-turn to apprehend a speeder, 2 others killed.||29||On Highway 2 near Columbia Falls, Montana|
|Trooper||Michael “Mike” Warren Haynes||03-27-2009||Succumbed to injuries sustained on 03-22-2009 after being struck head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way||28||On U.S. 93 near Kalispell, Montana|
|Trooper||David James DeLaittre||12-01-2010||Shot and killed while checking on an idle truck in the middle of the road||23||In Three Forks, Montana|