Missoula County Sheriff - Services
Following are the major services we provide the community. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 406-258-4810. Use the list of links to jump right to that section of the page.
- Detention Facility
- Patrol Division
- Detective Division
- Civil Process
- Special Response Teams (SRT)
The coroner is an elected public official. In Montana, the coroner can be a separate office, or it can be combined with the position of sheriff, as it is in Missoula County. The coroner can appoint deputy county coroners.
The coroner must determine the cause and manner of death. Manner of death is listed as accident, homicide, suicide, natural, undetermined, or pending (waiting for autopsy results). Cause of death is a medical-legal determination, such as cancer, heart attack, or blunt force trauma to the head.
The coroner must attend a 40-hour class on death investigation, then attend 16 hours of training every two years. The coroner can get assistance from the State Medical Examiner.
The coroner inquires into any death that was caused by other than natural causes (accident, homicide), or when no licensed physician will sign the death certificate. The death certificates are filed at the local registrar's office.
The Missoula County Detention Facility opened November 1, 1999, replacing the old county jail, which had been out-dated and over-crowded for many years. MCDF holds county prisoners who are awaiting trial or who are serving sentences of less than one year. The secure juvenile detention unit is in a separate wing of the same building. MCDF phone number: (406) 258-4000.
The patrol division is called the heart of the department. It is certainly the most visible, with deputies on patrol in marked vehicles. The patrol division has four teams, each headed by a sergeant, which work 12 hours shifts. Allowing for vacations, training, and sick leave, the shifts average 3 to 4 deputies per shift. Because of the size of the jurisdiction, resident deputies are stationed in Seeley Lake and Condon.
The patrol deputies respond to calls as dispatched by 9-1-1, assisting citizens and investigating everything from dog bites to homicides. The patrol deputies conduct interviews, photograph and fingerprint crime scenes as appropriate, and document investigations with reports. The patrol division enforces traffic violations, serves arrest warrants, and serves legal papers such as summonses and subpoenas, orders of protection, and jury summonses.
The patrol division is headed by a captain, with a lieutenant who is the assistant administrator, and a lieutenant who serves as the department training officer. Attached to patrol are two deputies who are assigned to serve civil process, and another who is the EOD, Search and Rescue, Ranch, and Forest Service Patrol coordinator.
The Detective Division is divided into Property Crimes (vandalism, theft, and burglary), Persons Crimes (assaults, rapes, homicide), Warrants, and Narcotics. The detectives develop their own cases, and also follow up on investigations initiated by the patrol division, if needed. They forward completed reports to the County Attorney's office for prosecution. The detectives may handle request for assistance from people who come to the office during business hours.
One detective and an evidence clerk are responsible for evidence storage and developing crime scene photographs. They handle the tracking and storage of evidence from crime scenes and make that evidence available for court.
The detective division checks records from pawn shops and tries to match found or recovered property with lost or stolen property.
The warrants officer prepares information for arrest warrants, and arranges extradition transportation of officers and prisoners. The Detective Division is headed by a captain, with a lieutenant, sergeant, and detective specialists. Detective and Patrol Divisions have equal rank structures. A move to detectives is not necessarily a promotion.
Staff in the civil process office handles processing of legal papers that are given to deputies to serve. These papers include subpoenas for court; orders of protection; papers relating to dissolution, parenting plans and child support; civil suits; and evictions. The civil office also handles the removal of abandoned cars and sheriff's sales of those cars and other seized property.
Please specify "Civil Process Bureau" when addressing mail to us, to avoid unnecessary delays in delivery. ATTENTION, users of UPS and FEDEX: These parcels must now be addressed to us at 199 W. Pine, Missoula MT 59802, the new address of Central Services. They will no longer be delivered to us if addressed to 200 W. Broadway, Missoula MT 59802. The following forms are also available on our Forms page.
- Civil Process Fees
- Agister's Lien Instructions - Livestock
- Agister's Lien Claim Form - Livestock
- Abandoned Vehicles Procedures
- Abandoned Vehicles Private Property Release Form
The sheriff's department has an Administrative Captain who works on finding, applying for, and administering grants. He works on the budget, coordinates internal promotions, and manages the fleet of vehicles.
The Sheriff's Department has a support staff of civilian workers who are responsible for keeping the criminal justice records created by investigations and arrests. The staff transcribes taped interviews, enters wanted persons into the NCIC system, and makes copies of documents for other agencies. Personnel handle the Uniform Crime Reports, statistics, and departmental mail.
A staff member greets and screens visitors, and handles incoming phone calls. Another does payroll and budget.
At critical incidents, such as Special Response Team call-outs, a staff person responds to provide immediate record-keeping functions.
Special Response Teams (SRT)
The Special Response Team's purpose is to handle "high risk" situations which the individual deputy is not trained or equipped to handle. These situations include barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, high risk fugitive arrests or search warrants, protective services, crowd control, institutional riots, and special event management. Members of this unit are trained and work as a team. SRT provides 24-hour coverage by means of a pager call-out to provide immediate response upon request.
SRT has four components. The first is the most well-known, the Tactical team. Officers are trained as entry, arrest, sniper/observer teams. They work with handguns, long guns, less lethal, and chemical weapons.
The Negotiations team is trained to deal with hostage-takers, barricaded suspects, and suicidal persons.
The Tactical Emergency Medical Services involves EMT and paramedics who receive some tactical training, and who provide treatment for injured victims, officers, and suspects.
The Support team provides clerical assistance with record-keeping, monitoring radio traffic, and providing support to the other three parts of the team.