Missoula's Police Chief is stepping back to focus on an agreement between the P.D. and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
In May the city and DOJ reached that agreement over how the department handles reports of sexual assault.
“I have been involved with it from the beginning,” said Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir.
He was there in May 2012 when the feds launched the investigation into the way the Missoula Police, Missoula County Prosecutor and University of Montana Police handled sexual assault reports.
Now Muir is stepping back from daily operations to focus on meeting the requirements outlined in the agreement.
“It's a critical component of what we have to do in moving forward and putting this whole DOJ investigation behind us.”
Some of what he'll be working on includes: implementing policies, providing training to improve the department’s response to sexual assault reports, a community wide safety and accountability audit and developing a review panel to look at every report of sexual assault.
“They require us to have experienced prosecutors, experienced investigators, other legal service providers,” said Muir.
The list is long so Muir's handing over the reins to Assistant Police Chief Mike Brady. Missoula Mayor John Engen said the decision to shift gears came after they realized how much work is involved in honoring the DOJ agreement.
“It's a lot and it's hard to be distracted from a project of that scope,” said Engen.
And Engen's confident Assistant Chief Brady can run the show. “We're fortunate that we have the resources here that we have somebody who can step up. “
Muir wants to do what he can between now and December when he retires from the job. He’s hoping to see the agreement with the DOJ from start to finish.
“I'll know that I've done everything I could,” said Muir.
No word yet on whether Brady will take on the job as Chief of Police permanently. Mayor Engen said the decision will likely be made sometime this fall.