Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Thursday evening, Missoula Police, Sheriff’s Office and other agencies gathered to commemorate the annual Law Enforcement Memorial at Rose Park.

KGVO News spoke to Missoula Police Chief Mike Colyer who remembered the late Sergeant Robert Heinle.

Police Chief Colyer Remembered the Late Sergeant Bob Heinle

“I personally know one of the names on there and that’s Sergeant Bob Heinle,” began Chief Colyer. “I think about him throughout the year, but especially tonight; it's a good reminder. Tonight serves a couple of purposes for us. First of all, we get to really honor those fallen officers and their families, but it also serves as a great deal of support and encouragement for the current officers who get to see people come out and show their concern.”

Colyer was asked about what the Police Department needs going forward to better serve the public.

“This year in the budget, we're going to ask for some tangible things,” he said. “One of them is an upgrade to our body-worn cameras and our digital evidence situation. So technology has advanced so much since our previous generation of body-worn cameras, and we are in a society that really demands that. As we've experienced some issues with our current system, it's time to upgrade. It's an expensive project, but we really think it's important because if we have a critical situation where we don't have body-worn camera for whatever reason, that is going to immediately be met with skepticism, and that hurts public trust.”

Law Enforcement Memorial, Missoula Montana
Credit: Peter Christian

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said Law Enforcement has Earned the Public's Respect

Also at the event was Montana’s U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich who emphasized the importance of public support for their law enforcement agencies.

“For law enforcement, we want them to know that the public has their backs, right?” he asked. “That we honor them, we respect them. We remember their service and the service of the people who have lost their lives and to the public. It's about the rule of law, and these people are risking their lives to enforce the rule of law without fear or favor, and that we only have this functioning society a functioning government, because of law and order.”

Undersheriff Meader said Law Enforcement gives a Maximum Effort Every Day

Missoula County Undersheriff Jeremy Meader was at the event and emphasized the total effort given every day by all of Missoula’s law enforcement agencies.

“I just would hope that the public would remember that really we serve them, we're here to provide them a service and the best service that we can within the confines of the law,” said Undersheriff Meader. “I think we have the best personnel to do that. And you know, sometimes it gets foreshadowed with disasters or tragedies that surround us, but at the end of the day, these people are trying to do the right thing every day. Generally, I would say that the Missoula public really supports law enforcement. We feel very fortunate. We talk to other law enforcement agencies in other states and that's not the case. So I feel very fortunate that we do get the support that we do.”

Interim Missoula Police Colyer confirmed to KGVO that he has applied to be the permanent Chief of Police.

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