With the controversial MacClay Bridge as a backdrop, Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott introduced three new deputies who will be assigned to River and Public Safety in the summer and School Resource Officers during the school year.

“We now have enhanced public safety at recreation sites like the Bitterroot River as it flows beneath MacClay Bridge, but also more importantly at our county elementary, middle and high schools,” said McDermott. “For many years deputies have done their best on patrol while responding to calls for service throughout the county to try to cover some of the neighborhood concerns such as parking concerns and others each summer, but it’s been a challenge. They haven’t been able to dedicate the necessary amount of time or focus their efforts in a way that has been meaningful.”

McDermott thanked the Missoula County Commissioners for voting for the funding for the new positions.

“I can tell you that we were able to secure two additional positions along with another deputy position where we will now have three deputies patrolling these river access sites and recreation areas in the summer, and during the school year they will be serving as school resource officers,” he said. “They’ll be enhancing school safety and making that important connection with our school children.”

The three new deputies assigned to summer public safety and school resource officers are Christine Hettman, Scott Rasmussen, and Tyler Tirrell.