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 detention center reimbursement rates should reflect actual costs for services.
  3. MACo believes mental evaluations should be conducted locally 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 the state’s funding of additional resources for the Department of Criminal Investigations and the State Prosecution Bureau.
  14. MACo supports additional state funding for deputy county attorney positions that are primarily designed to enforce state law.
  15. MACo supports creating zones around emergencies to be drone free and to support financially punishing drone operators whose actions endanger emergency responses in Montana.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. MACo supports the state’s funding of diversion programs, specifically family courts, drug courts, pretrial services, and youth courts.
  19. MACo supports the state’s funding of Drug Task Forces.
  20. MACo supports the state’s funding of Victim Advocacy Programs.
  21. MACo supports allowing local governments more freedom to set salaries for deputy sheriffs.

Committee Members

  • Kevin Krausz, Co-chair, Custer County
  • Randy Brodehl, Co-chair, Flathead County Commissioner
  • Ruth Baker, Treasure County Commissioner
  • Bill Barron, Lake County Commissioner
  • Zach Brown, Gallatin County Commissioner
  • Bill Bullock, Carbon County Commissioner
  • Mike Goffena, Musselshell County Commissioner
  • Dan Huls, Ravalli County Commissioner
  • Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County Commissioner
  • Ed Joiner, Rosebud County Commissioner
  • Tom Kuka, Pondera County Commissioner
  • James (JV) Moody, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Mark Peterson, Hill County Commissioner
  • Tom Rolfe, Lewis & Clark County Commissioner
  • Don Ryan, Cascade County Commissioner
  • Duane Simons, Mineral County Commissioner
  • Joe Skinner, Gallatin County Commissioner
  • Jacob (Jake) Strissel, Hill County Commissioner
  • Juanita Vero, Missoula County Commissioner
  • Joette Woods, Liberty County Commissioner
  • Roman Zylawy, Mineral County Commissioner
  • Leo Gallagher, MT Association of County Attorneys Rep., Lewis & Clark County
  • Steve Holton, MT Assoc. of Sheriffs & Peace Officers Rep., Ravalli County