MACo’s Justice & Public Safety Committee focuses on the current problems encountered by counties in the area of criminal justice and public safety and encourages positive actions to promote and protect the public interest.

Committee Policy Statements

Committee policy statements are a compilation of various issues and/or beliefs, which members have identified as major concerns and goals of county government. A “policy statement” provides guidance to staff, legislators, and the public on MACo’s position regarding possible legislation and/or issues that may arise during a legislative session and/or the Interim.

Justice & Public Safety Committee Policy Statements

MACo recognizes the current problems encountered by counties in the area of criminal justice and public safety. MACo encourages positive actions to promote and protect the public interest.

  1. MACo supports that state, federal, and city/town governments reimburse counties for certain services, such as prisoner care.
  2. MACo believes that reimbursement rates should reflect actual costs for services.
  3. MACo believes mental evaluations should be conducted in local mental health treatment facilities, when available.
  4. MACo supports state and federal funding for jails.
  5. MACo supports limiting judicial expenditures in excess of adopted county budgets and opposes judicial orders of additional expenditures above the adopted county budget.
  6. MACo supports a partnership between state and local governments for the funding of defined minimum standards of court security in district, county, justice, and municipal courts.
  7. MACo supports a partnership between the state and local governments for the funding of the costs to remodel courthouses to accommodate additional District Court Judges and related staff, furniture, fixtures and equipment.
  8. MACo believes that the state should continue to support the concept of regional juvenile detention facilities.
  9. MACo supports legislation to allocate state funding to regional boards for operation and maintenance of regional juvenile detention facilities.
  10. MACo believes that counties should be reimbursed for detention costs from the date of conviction or guilty plea to the date of sentencing, and the state should be responsible for the detention costs.
  11. MACo supports full funding of grants to counties under the Montana Youth Court Act and funding to recognize the frontier status of Eastern Montana Counties—the distances law enforcement must travel for purposes of providing adequate youth detention services.
  12. MACo supports providing to county governing bodies the authority to enact social host ordinances.
  13. MACo supports a permanent and stable governance structure and funding for the administration of the public safety communications system in Montana.
  14. MACo supports the statewide public safety communications system being based on current federal and state communications standards in which local, tribal, state, and Federal public safety and emergency management representatives can operate autonomously and transition seamlessly, to communicate effectively in an all-hazard emergency mission role.
  15. MACo supports the statewide public safety communications system as a voluntary coalition of participating county governments, tribal nations, and state agencies.
  16. MACo supports the state’s funding of additional resources for the Department of Criminal Investigations and the State Prosecution Bureau.
  17. MACo supports additional state funding for deputy county attorney positions that are primarily designed to enforce state law.
  18. MACo supports creating zones around emergencies to be drone free and to support financially punishing drone operators whose actions endanger emergency responses in Montana.
  19. MACo will work with the Montana Court Administrator’s Office to ensure full funding of all district court costs as cited in MCA 3-5-901.
  20. MACo will support working with NACo and the federal government to allow public safety telecommunicators to work the same schedules as emergency and public safety services.

Committee Members

  • Laura Obert, Chair, Broadwater County Commissioner
  • Kevin Krausz, Vice Chair, Custer County Commissioner
  • Bill Barron, Lake County Commissioner
  • Jerry Bennett, Lincoln County Commissioner
  • Nicole Borner, Musselshell County Commissioner
  • Randy Brodehl, Flathead County Commissioner
  • Bill Bullock, Carbon County Commissioner
  • Mike DesRosier, Glacier County Commissioner
  • Chris Hoffman, Ravalli County Commissioner
  • Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County Commissioner
  • Ed Joiner, Rosebud County Commissioner
  • Tom Kuka, Pondera County Commissioner
  • James Moody, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Mark Peterson, Hill County Commissioner
  • Daren J. Schuster, Chouteau County Commissioner
  • Dennis Shupak, Stillwater County Commissioner
  • Duane Simons, Mineral County Commissioner
  • Alan Stempel, McCone County Commissioner
  • Terry Vermiere, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commissioner
  • Mike Watkins, Carter County Commissioner
  • Roman Zylawy, Mineral County Commissioner
  • Leo Gallagher, MT Association of County Attorney’s, Lewis & Clark County
  • Brian Gootkin, MT Association of Sheriffs & Peace Officers, Gallatin County
  • Vacancy, Montana Association of DES Coordinators