MISSOULA, Mont. - The following is a press release from Bob Parcell:
I am Robert E. "Bob" Parcell a 32-year veteran with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office. I am currently a Senior Deputy Sheriff II and serve as the Resident Deputy in the Seeley-Swan area. I am announcing my bid as a democratic candidate for the Office of Sheriff of Missoula County. I have a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor's Degree in Forestry from Northern Arizona University. I first came to Missoula 43 years ago to train as a Smokejumper and spent eight years (four before, and four after, regular military service as a USMC officer) jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and fighting fire all over the West and Alaska.
In my current position, I perform duties as a Uniform Patrol Officer, Deputy Coroner, Search and Rescue Coordinator, Rescue/Recovery SCUBA Diver, Detective, Boat/Personal Watercraft Patrolman, Civil Officer, and Snowmobile Patrolman. In the past, I also performed duties as Law Enforcement Dog Handler, Smokejumper Liaison Officer, and School Resource Officer.
My law enforcement honors include the following:
1984 Jimmy Kaaro Award presented at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy for obtaining the
highest academic record during Basic Class # 55
1984 Achieved Perfect Score – final exam, Basic Class # 55, first time ever accomplished
1992 Purple Heart Medal for being wounded in the line of duty
1992 Armed Action Medal for being involved in a gun battle in the line of duty
1998 Life Saving Medal for saving the life of a dying hunter
1992 Local Law Officer of the Year, Missoula Exchange Club
1992 International Association of Chiefs of Police/Dupont Kevlar Survivor's Club Award
1993 Montana State Law Officer of the Year, Montana Sheriff's and Peace Officer Association
1994 Certificate of Commendation from President Clinton, presented at the White House, Wash. D C
1998 Domestic Violence Peace Officer of the Year, Missoula Area Domestic Violence Council
2001 Montana Law Officer of the Year, American Legion
During my three decades-plus career I have handled every type of crime, including homicides, suicides, sexual intercourse without consent, robbery (single-handedly apprehended two armed robbers), assaults, burglaries, thefts, criminal mischief, arson, fraud, forgery, embezzlement, possession of dangerous drugs, domestic abuse (partner or family member assault-PFMA), DUI's (commended for exceptional enforcement), and all other kinds of property crimes, crimes against persons, society, etc. I routinely assist a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate group and have made more PFMA arrests than I care to count. As a Deputy Coroner, I have responded to myriad unattended deaths and have determined the cause and manner of death in these cases which were then utilized on the official death certificates. As a Search and Rescue Coordinator for most of my career, I have acted as the Incident Commander on countless search and rescue missions and recovery efforts on land, and on lakes and rivers. In this position I have had the honor to supervise and train many selfless volunteers who freely give of their time and effort to assist fellow citizens in their time of need. On one particularly dire occasion, a volunteer and I located a lost hunter who had given up and lain down under a tree to sleep in the freezing rain and snow. We were able to push and prod this individual out of the back country and successfully affected his rescue, thus saving his life. Also as part of Search and Rescue, I have performed as Rescue/Recovery SCUBA diver and have been involved in many operations recovering bodies from water courses and in waterborne efforts.
In 1974, I attended the 90th OCS at Quantico, VA, was selected as the Honor Man for 2nd Platoon, Delta Company, and augmented into the regular Marine Corps out of The Basic School. In the regular Marine Corps, I served as a Rifle Platoon Commander and Weapons Platoon Commander for Kilo Company 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Assistant Operations Officer for 3/5, Executive Officer for Lima Company, 3/5, and on the 3rd Force Service Support Group (3rd FSSG) Commanding General's staff. While overseas, I trained in Tae Kwon Do/Tang Su Do karate and learned to SCUBA dive (PADI-qualified) and made many 200 ft + ocean dives. In 1979, I returned to the USFS Smokejumpers in Missoula, completed a total of 120 + parachute jumps after another four years, acted as "Fire Boss" on many fires, and qualified as an FAA Senior Parachute Rigger.
In the Marine Corps Reserve, I served as Forward Observer, Platoon Commander, Executive Officer, and Commanding Officer, for Battery "A", 1st Bn, 14th Marines (1/14) in Spokane, WA. Next, I joined 1/14 at Treasure Island (San Francisco Bay, CA) as Artillery Liaison Officer to the 23rd Marines, then as Adjutant S-1. In 1991, I was activated with 1/14 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
During the activation, I also participated in Exercise Battle Griffin in Norway. After deactivation, I joined the 23rd Marine Regiment (23rd Mar) as an Assistant Operations Officer. After the end of this tour of
duty, I acted as Camp Commandant at Camp Wilson, Marine Corps Base 29 Palms, CA, during a Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) and then was selected as the Head, Reserve "Coyote" with the Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group (TTECG), Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), 29 Palms, CA which included the billet of Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Detachment Head/Tactical Exercise Coordinator. One month after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I was once again mobilized, this time in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. During this period, I performed as Officer-In-Charge, Crisis Action Team, G-3 Operations, Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC), Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, then as Head of the Command Support Branch which incorporated the Crisis Action Team, the Force Command Center, and the Training Cell in the G-3. After two years, I was deactivated on 30 October 2003 and returned to my law enforcement career with Missoula County. In August, 2004, I was once again activated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II-2 and served in combat as the Director, Iraqi Police Service, Iraqi Security Forces, 1st Marine Division, Camp Blue Diamond, Ar Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. In this billet, I was responsible for the selection of Iraqi recruits for training at four police academies (three in country and one Jordan), their training, equipping, and mentoring. I was also responsible for the functioning of three police academies in Al Anbar Province and several other provinces. My duties took me to many cities and towns in the western third of the country to assist and support the newly established law enforcement forces.
During the Battle for Fallujah, Iraq, while under fire, I inspected existing destroyed police stations, and other sites, chose temporary quarters and battle positions for the Iraqi Police Commandos, who were being used to first bring law and order back into the city, and was responsible for establishing a sustainable law enforcement presence during, and in the wake, of combat.
Upon returning to MCB Camp Pendleton, CA, I served as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 Operations, for the 1st Force Service Support Group until my retirement ceremony at 1st Marine Division Headquarters. I retired as a Colonel (0-6) on 31 May 2005 after 30 ½ years of service.
The Officer Oath of Office that I took In the U. S. Marine Corps states :
"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter. So help me God."
This oath transfers nicely into the civilian world and I have always taken it seriously and attempted to live up to the high ideals for which it stands. Duty, honor, integrity, dedication, courage, trust, truth, commitment, compassion……these are not just words or fleeting ideas, they are part of a way of life.
During my time in the Smokejumpers, in the Marine Corps, and in my years in Law Enforcement, I developed a leadership and management style which is very conducive to getting difficult jobs done in very difficult situations, while inspiring and motivating personnel to complete their missions and still maintain high morale. This style of leadership and management continues to assist me greatly in my Law Enforcement career in which I have persevered for 32 years. While working in law enforcement, I have defended our communities against the grave, internal threat from criminals and their brethren. This effort culminated in an incident in June of 1992 when I was shot and wounded by an individual who was wielding a .41 Magnum revolver and whose paranoid view of the world made the act seem very necessary at the time. Even though the bullet's impact blew a large hole in my pectoral muscle, my body armor saved my life and allowed me to continue to carry on my duties serving the citizens of Missoula County. My current position has provided a unique insight into how to establish lasting trust and confidence between law enforcement officers and the public. My familiarity with the citizens I serve has proven invaluable and has many times been the most important factor when it came to
solving crimes. Solving crimes and protecting the public is the goal of law enforcement, not just taking reports. Most crimes are solved due to the input and assistance supplied by the public; only a small percentage of crimes are solved by law enforcement acting alone. Due to this fact, I will make it a priority to better gain the public trust and capitalize on the partnership with the public.
The recent turmoil and upheaval in the Missoula County Sheriff's Office is an unfortunate state of affairs that will ultimately have to be dealt with by the next sheriff. The schism will have to be healed
in order to reconstitute a viable, effective, and responsive law enforcement organization but right now, opposing factions have divided it into two camps with little common ground. Due to my unique position, I have no dog in this fight. I am totally aloof to the issues that are the basis for the conflict. I have no problem with either of the other candidates for sheriff and very much like them as individuals and respect them as fellow law enforcement officers but, as the non-aligned candidate for sheriff, I provide the most viable solution to this very troublesome situation. As Sheriff of Missoula County, I will bring all of my education, training, experience, expertise, and leadership abilities to bear in order to re-establish a unified, cohesive force, which will re-dedicate itself to its mission of fighting crime and not each other. The atmosphere and tenor in a department are established from the top down, therefore, it will be developed where "Us versus Them" means Law Enforcement and the Public (in partnership) versus the Criminals, not Officers versus the Administration. There is a wealth of knowledge and brain power within the department which will be tapped to improve the functioning and capabilities of the force. Many minds are always better than just one. The Sheriff's Office must be modernized, but not just in gear and equipment, it must have an updated way of thinking and adapt new approaches to law enforcement. We will strive for a progressive atmosphere where dynamic ideas can be discussed, vetted, and implemented with a minimum of roadblocks and hindrances.
Discipline must be maintained in any organization and that is especially true in law enforcement. Personnel who disregard policy, procedures, and/or laws, must be held accountable for their actions. That being said, it is also true that good work and success in crime fighting should be recognized and rewarded. A healthy organization is one in which neither of these ideas triumphs over the other.
When it comes time to lead men and women in endeavors that may put them in harm's way, it helps if you have been there before yourself. "I have seen the elephant", and I know how to lead.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve as the Sheriff of Missoula County if the voters deem it to be; I seek no endorsements other than those of the voters. Win or lose, I wish only the best for this great county, state, and country.
Semper Fidelis, Robert E. "Bob" Parcell