There were over 100 deputies and personnel from other state and local agencies on hand last week, leading up to and through President Trump’s visit to Missoula on Thursday.

Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott said there was a very short window of time to pull together all the pieces necessary to protect the President.

“We didn’t have a lot of notice, but we had some time to come up with a public safety plan for the event,” said McDermott. “We had close to 100 law enforcement officers that offered their assistance. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation were all working hand in hand with the Secret Service.”

McDermott said there is a Secret Service presence actually based in Missoula.

“We have a great relationship with Tad Downs, he’s the Secret Service agent who resides in Missoula,” he said. “Through him, we were able to pair up deputies in just about every Secret Service element. We had Secret Service agents paired up with our Special Response Team, in the motorcade, on tactical elements both inside and outside the hangar for site security and then crowd control and management.”

McDermott said law enforcement professionals put any idea of politics aside to protect the President and his staff during their visit.

“Certainly, as demonstrated by the professionalism of the Secret Service, just showed nothing but admirable professionalism throughout the event, and with the crowd, as well was very respectful. You could tell that everyone there was excited to have the opportunity to attend an event like this, and I was very proud of everyone and the work that we’ve done.”

McDermott said the lessons learned by all the departments who participated while working with the Secret Service will continue to help improve the local service they provide.

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