Missoula’s New Police Chief Believes In 21st Century Policing Model, Whatever The Hell That Is

by William Skink

I saw some of the local protest today over the killing of George Floyd. I also saw lots of police around downtown Missoula. Two cop cars, one obvious, and one that was not, chased some hippie looking guy toward the Clark Fork near Orange Street and down the embankment to the parking lot where Nick Checota’s Drift will never be built.

I may understand better than most the difficulty cops and first responders have to deal with, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with the LEADERSHIP of our local law enforcement.

When Mike Brady, Missoula’s chief of police, “retired” last year, his new job with the city raised some eyebrows:

Missoula Police Chief Mike Brady says that after six years at the helm, timing is his biggest motivation for stepping down.

“You know, I’m at a point where I want to do something else, but I don’t want to wait until I’m too old to do it,” Chief Brady told MTN News.

He’ll go from working for the police department to a role with the city as its risk manager.

As a risk manager, I wonder what Brady would do if a police officer showed up to work intoxicated? And what would Brady do if a patrol officer pulled over a drunken Mayor? Those are just two random questions that totally just popped into my head.

While there were obviously some questions one may ponder with Brady, the question with the new Chief begins with WHY pick some dude from California?

Here’s some more context from MC:

Mayor John Engen announced Wednesday morning that Jaeson D. White, an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol, will serve as the next Missoula Chief of Police.

White has nearly 28 years of law enforcement experience and has worked for the California Highway Patrol since 1995 in increasingly responsible roles across a wide breadth of duties.

White believes strongly in partnerships with the public and community stakeholders and is committed to building teamwork and creating new programs. His policing philosophy is in keeping with the 21st Century Policing Model, according to a news release.

“His extensive experience in the field and in administration prepared him for the opportunity to lead our department and join my leadership team,” Engen said. “I believe the Missoula Police Department has the trust and respect of those we serve, and Assistant Chief White will lead a department that is on solid footing.”

What the hell is the 21st Century Policing Model? I think it had something to do with the recommendations of Obama’s task force a few years back:

Community policing is a law enforcement strategy that emphasizes the systematic use of community engagement, partnerships, and problem solving techniques to proactively address conditions that cultivate crime and social disorder. Community policing requires cooperation among police, citizens, and local decision-makers in order to forge effective partnerships that combat criminal activity.

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing divides the recommendations into six pillars. They are:

Building Trust and Legitimacy
Policy and Oversight
Technology and Social Media
Community Policing and Crime Reduction
Officer Training and Education
Officer Safety and Wellness

Those are some mighty challenging pillars to erect. I hope Chief White’s time in California has prepared him for this difficult assignment.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Missoula’s New Police Chief Believes In 21st Century Policing Model, Whatever The Hell That Is

  1. Spook says:

    YouTube Hitler coming out of the German cathedral with the cross are superimposed over his head and tell me if that doesn’t look like trump propaganda.

    Hijacking the church for political propaganda is the new policing!

    And the new normal.

  2. TC says:

    The MC article about Brady’s retirement concluded with 3 paragraphs describing how Brady trained those under him to advance. That used to be the norm at City; hire qualified people, provide training, let them gather experience over 10,15,20 years then promote. Seemed like good management; pertinent experience coupled with life long learning/training produced employees that were connected/committed to the community, that had institutional knowledge and had standing with other members of the Department. Interesting that Engen then went outside of Brady’s qualified pool of internal applicants to find the new Chief.
    This is a trend – new Police Chief (CA), new HR Director (Seattle), proposed Dev. Services Director (Fla) – “my” leadership team. Doesnt speak highly of City of Missoula’s ability to develop their own

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