MPD chief on school safety and officer involved in shooting

KGVO News was invited to a panel discussion with Missoula Police Chief Jason White on Tuesday who answered questions on a variety of public safety topics.

The conversation began with a question about what the Missoula Police Department’s policy would be in the event of a school shooting, such as the recent tragedy in Ovaldi, Texas.

Chief White began: “We don’t have SOPs to resort to for this.” Nonetheless, however, we have uniformly trained on the ALERRT system, which stands for Advanced Rapid Response Training for Law Enforcement. So we have built-in responses that will be uniform but unfortunately not every specific situation can be accounted for. “Our default goal will be to go to school but we need to get into school and be able to stand up to the constant threat. ”

Another sensitive question addressed Missoula Police Department policy regarding shootings among officers. President White said the officer had the right to use lethal force in very specific circumstances.

“You have to look at the legal authority that Montana gives us in the MCA (Montana Law Detailed) that allows officers to defend themselves from death or serious bodily injury,” he said. “We also have the right to use lethal force to defend the life or serious bodily injury of another person.”

President White said that if an officer involved is fired, the investigation will be immediately transferred to the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in Helena.

“We will bring the state’s criminal investigation department to carry out a criminal investigation into the matter,” he said. They will do this criminal investigation. We hand everything over to them. Evidence, body-worn camera footage, if any, none of it belonged to the Missoula Police Department at the time. It all belongs to DCI as part of this investigation.”

With each shooting the officer is involved in, an investigation is conducted by the coroner to determine whether the officer is following oath policy or may have broken the law.

He said: “The investigation with the forensic doctor is headed by a civil forensic judge from another province.” “So no person from Missoula or anyone with any involvement in this incident will be. It will be an outside civilian, and they preside over the jury that is deliberating on the matter. During that hearing, the Missoula County District Attorney’s office provides information to the jury, and the jury takes A decision as to whether or not there is any criminal culpability on behalf of the officer in question.”

Chief White also referred to the recent SWAT team deployment that occurred near Southwest Higgins in response to a question from another reporter mentioning the Special Unit’s deployment policy.

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