Overview and Purpose
When a citizen of Flathead County calls the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, most likely the deputy responding will be a member of the Patrol Division. Often referred to as the ‘backbone’ of any law enforcement agency, the Patrol Division provides law enforcement services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year throughout over 5,200 square miles of land area within the agency’s jurisdiction. Deputies in the Patrol Division respond on average to 30,000 calls for service each year. Patrol Deputies are easily recognizable by the highly visible patrol vehicles that they drive.
Because the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is the largest law enforcement agency in Flathead County it is often called upon for assistance by other public safety agencies in Flathead County such as fire rescue, EMS and the local police departments. On any given day throughout Flathead County you may see members of the Patrol Division working closely with these agencies. By keeping the lines of communication open and fostering a cooperative relationship with these agencies we are able to work together collectively to ensure that the needs of all Flathead County citizens are met.
For operational purposes, the Sheriff’s Office has divided the county into three zones (North, Local and South) patrolled 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. There are three 10-hour shifts, one of which will be on duty at any given time. The men and women assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division perform the most visible and recognizable functions of the Sheriff’s Office; they are the ones responding to your calls for assistance. You will find them in your neighborhoods, taking reports, looking for a lost child, comforting the victim of a crime, or questioning someone who doesn’t appear to belong in the area.
On a typical day patrol deputies may respond to calls as ordinary as a noise complaint, assist with traffic control at the scene of an accident, writing a report of a theft, or to ones as dangerous as a violent crime in progress. Additionally, patrol units are responsible for investigating reported offenses such as burglaries, domestic violence complaints, alarms, and suspicious persons, just to name few. Tasked with providing professional law enforcement responses to ever-increasing calls for service, the Uniform Patrol Division remains dedicated to providing quality service to the citizens of Flathead County.