Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - After the announcement recently that Missoula Police Department Chief Jaeson White was retiring from law enforcement after three years at the helm, City of Missoula Mayor Jordan Hess named Captain Mike Colyer as the interim Chief of Police.

Familiar Territory for Missoula Police Captain Mike Colyer

KGVO News reached out to Captain Colyer who has been in this situation before, after the retirement of former Chief Mike Brady.

Colyer provided some personal background information.

“I'm a Missoula native,” said Captain Colyer. “I was born and raised in Missoula and went through all the way through high school here. I started my college at the University of Montana, and then I transferred to North Idaho in Coeur D’Alene after one year at the U of M. After I got my degree there, I got hired by the Coeur D’Alene Police Department and I did almost exactly two years there at before I came home to Missoula in 1996, and I've been worked for the Missoula PD ever since.”

Captain Colyer said Communication with the Public is Vital

Colyer stated that constant and open communication between the Police Chief and the public is the key to effective law enforcement.

“Communication at any level coming out of the department on information is important,” he said. “As you know, the more significant the incident or the information that needs to be rolled out, the more the need for the department head to address that. That’s both good news and bad news. Sometimes it's not always fun news that you need to speak about, but you need to be honest about whatever situation you're talking about. The good news is of course easy to do. The other news is not as easy but it's really important to also maintain trust, and I think we already have that trust within the community.”

Colyer had Words of Praise for the Former Chief White

Colyer said he was deeply impressed with Chief Jaseon White during his three year tenure as Missoula Police Chief.

“He will really have a legacy to our troops about upping our training,” he said. “He was able to get a lot more resources into our training budget and we put those to good use. We've been able to bring a lot of good training into the city and provide it to the masses. But another important thing to do when you're doing training is to go elsewhere, because you need to see what other places are doing and are offering to know what's out there, and with the enhanced budget that Chief White secured for us, we're able to do some of that.”

Colyer had more praise for the former chief.

“I really like that he'd be presented a problem or an issue and he'd find the solution,” he said. “A really good example is our need to have reserve officers to help us with things like security in our city courts and security in our council and city council committee hearings. However, there was a nuance in the state statute which had been a barrier to that. He took it on and went to the legislature where he got the verbiage changed within the statute which allowed us to bring on these reserve officers to fill that gap.”

Acting Chief Colyer said the search is now on for a permanent replacement for now-retired Chief Jaseon White.

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