By Griffen Smith
of the Pathfinder 

Sheriff shortage leaves gaps in service, housing needed


August 24, 2023

Griffen Smith, Pathfinder

A Missoula County Deputy on patrol on Aug. 17. Only one resident deputy lives in the Seeley-Swan Valley.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office reserves three deputy jobs for the Seeley-Swan Valley, but since May just one officer lives in the area full-time, and sometimes there is no law enforcement on patrol.

With the high price of housing, there's a chance that there will be no resident sheriff deputies in the future, although there will always be patrol cars in the area, according to Missoula County Sheriff Jeremiah Petersen.

The sheriff's office hopes to hire a second Seeley Lake deputy from its new class of trainees. The class is "unprecedented" in size after nine deputies left the depart...

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