The Missoula Police Department welcomed five new officers who were sworn in by Mayor John Engen on Wednesday afternoon at the Missoula City Council Chambers.

Police Chief Mike Brady provided details about the new officers.

“These officers are filling current vacancies,” said Chief Brady. “Three of them will go to the academy and two of them are POST certified. So they’ve been police officers, one is from Texas and another is from Las Vegas. They’ll be able to start in with our field training program right away, while the other three will return from the academy in December.”

Brady said the new officers provided for in the 2020 city budget will be hired soon.

“In January, we’ll hire the six positions that were approved in the budget,” he said. “We actually have another vacancy that we can fill, but there are no spots left in the academy.”

One of the new officers is Missoula native Christopher Herrick, who comes from a law enforcement family.

“My dad was in law enforcement for about 31 years with the U.S. Forest Service,” said Herrick. “I just want to take full advantage of the training that lies ahead and I would like to work in patrol for a long time. Eventually, I think I might be interested in becoming a detective, or going into investigations.”

Chief Brady said despite a negative view of law enforcement in some of the country’s largest cities, Missoula is very supportive of its police department.

“The Missoula community has really shown more support over the last couple of years than we’ve received for awhile,” he said. “We’re not immune to the national attention that law enforcement has upon I and we need to be aware of it. The Missoula community is growing and they expect a lot from our department, and our people have the drive to meet those expectations, and that’s what we’re looking for in our applicants.”

The five new officers are Tim Muis, Clark Nissley, Chris Herrick, Dan Buchholtz, and Amanda Jay.