Montana Highway Patrol

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Montana Highway Patrol
Abbreviation MHP
Montana Highway Patrol.jpg
Patch of the Montana Highway Patrol
Agency overview
Formed 1935
Employees 274 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Montana, USA
MT - MHP Districts.jpg
Montana Highway Patrol Districts
Size 147,165 square miles (381,160 km2)
Population 998,199 (July 2011 estimate)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Helena, Montana
Troopers 300+
Civilians 68 (as of 2004) [2]
Agency executive Colonel Tom Butler, Chief Administrator
Parent agency Montana Department of Justice
Stations 8 District and 1 Head Quarters
Montana Highway Patrol site
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) is the highway patrol agency for the U.S. state of Montana, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state over Montana Traffic law. It was created to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in Montana.


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 is divided into eight districts.

The Patrol's 243 troopers 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 5.5 million miles
  • respond to over 70,000 calls for service
  • issue more than 85,000 arrest tickets and more than 100,000 warning tickets

Troopers provide public safety education presentations on nearly every subject related to driving safety, including seatbelt use, driving under the influence and child safety.


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 Montana Highway Patrol uses a variety of lethal and non-lethal weapons, the weapons that are in use by the department are as follows:

District offices[edit]

There are eight District offices:

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

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Montana Highway Patrol, eight officers have died while on duty.[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]