New Missoula Police Chief Begins Service in December - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New Missoula Police Chief Begins Service in December

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MISSOULA -

The Missoula Police Department will start the new year under new leadership.

Current police Chief Mark Muir will retire in December after a 23-year career and Assistant Chief Mike Brady will take the reigns.

"You know, I'm a little anxious about leaving, just because it's a big change in my life," he said.

But, Chief Muir is no stranger to career switches.

Before he got into law enforcement two decades ago, Muir was a manager at Safeway.

Now, he's applied to the University of Montana School of Law, and will use the degree to defend members of law enforcement against civil litigation.

"And potentially see a third chapter in my life."

Muir said one of his biggest accomplishments is the expansion of the department's school resource officer program.

"For law enforcement to be most effective, those sorts of alliances are really critical," Muir said.

Earlier this year, Missoula police entered an agreement with the Department of Justice to improve their response and handling of sexual assault cases, after a year-long DOJ investigation.

Muir explained, "I felt that it was really important that I try to lead this group forward and put this behind us."

Muir said they now require all officers to complete training on how to handle sexual assault cases, and he's confident Mike Brady can lead the department through the rest of the DOJ requirements.

"We are making great strides in educating our officers and developing new protocols for victim services," Brady said.

Brady brings 25 years of law enforcement experience to the table, and has trained alongside Muir for the past five.

"He's included me in all those things that helped me develop, helped me learn, he's been a great instructor, a great friend," Brady said of Muir.

Brady said he's looking forward to bringing a few positive changes to the department as chief.

Next year, he said the department will receive a new computerized record-keeping system and they're assigning a current member of the department as a media relations officer.

"All of those are steps forward to connections with community," he said.

The Missoula Police Chief oversees 102 sworn officers, 23 civilian employees, and an annual budget of $13.6 million.

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