New Missoula police chief says he'll keep moving department forward

2013-11-16T05:45:00Z 2014-10-03T14:31:11Z New Missoula police chief says he'll keep moving department forward missoulian.com

Mike Brady is headed to the top rung on the Missoula Police Department ladder.

On Friday, Mayor John Engen announced Brady’s appointment as chief of police. Pending confirmation by the Missoula City Council, Brady will take the post when Chief Mark Muir retires on Dec. 20.

“Mike Brady has earned my respect and confidence as assistant chief, and I know he’ll serve as chief with distinction,” Engen said in a statement. “He’s experienced, practical and enthusiastic about our staff and our future.”

Brady, 52, has worked for the department since 1988 when he was hired as a patrol officer. He took over the reins of daily operations in August when Muir turned his full attention to implementing changes that came out of a federal investigation into gender discrimination in the department and its handling of sexual assault cases.

As chief, Brady will oversee the city’s largest department, with a $13.6 million budget, force of 102 officers and 23 staff. The social work graduate of the University of Montana will earn an estimated $98,000.

“I believe I can continue to move the department forward and support the role that every aspect of the department has in providing service to all citizens,” Brady said in a statement.

***

In an interview, the incoming chief said he doesn’t anticipate making wholesale changes when he steps into the post. Rather, Brady said he foresees following the course set by outgoing Chief Muir, under whom he worked as second-in-command since 2008.

“It hasn’t come without challenges, but I don’t see any great, great changes for personnel or for our delivery of services,” Brady said. “Customer service is very high on my priorities, and I want to continue those efforts to provide the best service possible to all victims.”

A couple of changes are in the works, however. In January, the department plans to bring on two new community service officers who will address matters that don’t rise to the level of criminal activity but affect people’s quality of life.

Officers will work in parks and on trails to “educate people about the ordinances and things that affect the use of those facilities,” Brady said. They will address matters such as leash laws and park hours of operations, as well as assist other officers and investigators.

“It’s a presence. It’s another set of eyes working those trail systems,” Brady said.

Brady also said he plans to launch a media relations position to address the way technology is changing news delivery. Media demands are different than they used to be, so demands on police are different, too, he said.

“We need a dedicated person to ensure that we’re being timely and accurate in getting the best information for you to pass on,” Brady said.

In May, police signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to implement changes in response to an investigation of gender bias in the department. The department denied the allegations but agreed to cooperate with the federal inquiry.

In August, Muir turned his full attention to putting in place the requirements in the report. When he retires, Detective Capt. Mike Colyer will take over those responsibilities, including the coordination of an external review panel and required community audits.

“I’m aware of what’s going on, but Capt. Mike Colyer has been working side by side with Chief Muir in that whole process,” Brady said.

***

The YWCA Missoula is among the agencies the DOJ interviewed as part of its review. YWCA executive director Cindy Weese said her staff members look forward to working with Brady to ensure victims of domestic and sexual violence have access to “concerned and professional law enforcement officers.”

“My kind of past work with Assistant Chief Brady leads me to believe that he is as committed as his predecessor, Mark Muir, to implementing the changes outlined in that DOJ agreement,” Weese said. “And those of us here at the YWCA, we believe those changes will have a lasting, positive impact in our community and the victims of violence that we serve.”

Among other things, the agreement stipulates officers complete training on national best practices to sexual assault response, improve relationships with community partners, including those who provide services to sexual assault victims, and create an external review panel to examine cases. The first quarterly report noted the department had made strides in addressing the requirements.

Councilman Jon Wilkins, who serves as chairman of the council’s Public Safety and Health Committee, doesn’t envision many changes when Brady takes the helm. He said Brady has been good to work with so far and has kept an open door policy.

“I kind of come in unexpected once in a while … and he’s generally always there and generally sees me right away,” Wilkins said. “He’s generally really responsive to all that, so I feel good about it.”

***

Brady came to law enforcement by way of internships with Missoula Youth Court and the Cascade County Youth Court Services, according to the city. He graduated from UM in 1983, began working as a sheriff’s deputy in Mineral County two weeks later, and he has enjoyed his career in law enforcement.

“It’s challenging and rewarding, all at the same time,” Brady said in a statement. “Every assignment brings new opportunity and challenge.”

And the assistant chief is up for the challenge of running the department, according to Chief Muir. In a statement, Muir said Brady has helped him guide the force through many challenges the last five years.

“The Missoula community is very fortunate to have the proven leadership of Mike Brady and the others who’ve served in command positions as they take the Missoula Police Department to the next level of service and professionalism following my retirement,” Muir said.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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(10) Comments

  1. PG
    Report Abuse
    PG - November 17, 2013 8:38 pm
    Forget to take our meds? Might call your psychiatrist and up the dosage...
  2. John P Weber
    Report Abuse
    John P Weber - November 16, 2013 1:01 pm
    Hopefully with our new incoming police chief, the department will learn how to enforce the traffic laws in the Montana code, which one of which they fail to enforce currently.
  3. Bob
    Report Abuse
    Bob - November 16, 2013 10:55 am
    Umm, What?
  4. wildmtn
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    wildmtn - November 16, 2013 9:00 am
    No, Mark Brady who ran for Commissioner is not related to Mike Brady.
  5. Sheepdawg
    Report Abuse
    Sheepdawg - November 16, 2013 8:09 am
    Congrats on the appointment!

    Anxious to see how you take care of the department and citizens of Missoula. Being Chief is not easy. Good luck.
  6. Wrongfully Evicted
    Report Abuse
    Wrongfully Evicted - November 16, 2013 1:57 am
    I'm afraid this is the biggest mistake of John Engen's career Ive just completed a very lengthy complaint tot he DOJ about Mr Brady and his abuse of office which I can testify to that has occurred since at least 12994. Mr Brady once told me he refused to uphold a restraining order I was awarded from Judge Don Louden. Mr Brady had no respect for Judge Louden or his rulings, even though my life had been endanger for many years before i had asked for the restraint. I ten took the order, since it wouldn't stop the predator in Missoula and I moved to Everett Washington and was awarded a Order of protection. Missoula Police refused to serve the order. Harassment phone calls from the predator began in 1982 with a local professional firm well respected in the Missoula area for their tremendous gifts to the Missoula community. ad life long support of the UofM. I was employed to study the UofM legal egress in 1982 by this firm and I made numerous corrections with my study. Shortly after this hundreds of harassment phone calls infiltrated my office and eventually caused me to be fired with Perfect recommendations. My return was requested but I was forced to move on and remain in hiding to prevent the situation from re-occuring, I could not stop the stalking that only ended by the perpetrators death in 2013 at which time the MPD took up the light from the predator and started acting on over 500 false information phone calls made to MPD by the perpetrator from 1994 through 2013. Eventually they have caused me bankruptcy and the ability to not be seen by any medical facility inside the city limits.I have a tall stack of denial and closure letters recently collected. And some dumb idiot thinks Mr Brady is the right candidate? Over my dead body.
    Yes Mark Brady is Mike Brady's brother, he was fired from his government job for investigating things he wasn't authorized to do so or fund, and I have a good feeling that investigation surrounded me. Instead of being the 4.0 Deans list perfect attendance valedictorian college student, I was respected by MPD as a mother beater just because she faked is\t and said so. Just like she faked and said so everything else. It's time for the top three positions of MPD to find a brand new home and out of state replacements to take over. There is a deep core of a problem in our Police force, it's their illegal computer inputs and family oriented ties which create conspiracy no one can fight and win. I request this be reconsidered and I will not stop until its granted. and i do not care who it takes down. I have broken bones, was raped, beaten, defamed by this man, he will not be my leader or my authority. He owes me a public apology and i am going to get it from him.
  7. Larry Lewis
    Report Abuse
    Larry Lewis - November 15, 2013 1:30 pm
    let's hope he's not a mark Muir clone. Muir was the smartest guy in the room. just ask him.
  8. libertarian
    Report Abuse
    libertarian - November 15, 2013 12:14 pm
    This article reads as if it were a press releases copied word for word.
  9. Dubs
    Report Abuse
    Dubs - November 15, 2013 11:24 am
    Is Mike related to Mark Brady, the guy that ran for county commissioner last election? Mark was a great candidate and if it weren't for Jean Curtiss's bully pulpit, he would be a great commissioner for Missoula County.
  10. rexmt2
    Report Abuse
    rexmt2 - November 15, 2013 10:34 am
    Congratulation Mike on a well deserved appointment. I have all the confidence that you will excel in this new position.
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