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Law Enforcement Memorial Honors Police – Sheriff – UM Officers [AUDIO]

Police memorial
photo by Peter Christian

Several hundred people gathered at Rose Memorial Park on Tuesday night for the annual Missoula Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony.

Sheriff’s Captain Brad Giffin told the crowd that all branches of law enforcement work together to protect the community.

“Robert Kennedy once said that every society gets the kind of crime it deserves,” Giffin said. “What is equally true, is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on. Missoula insists on the very best, and the very best is what Missoula receives.”

Sheriff’s Captain Brad Giffin

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Each branch of law enforcement presented awards to their officers for various accomplishments. One notable award went to Missoula Police Detective Jeff Curtis, who was wounded in the line of duty during an undercover drug sting operation in front of Gold’s Gym in November of 2013. Assistant Chief Scott Hoffman relates what happened.

“During the drug transaction, the subject produced a handgun and demanded money from Detective Curtis,” Hoffman said. “When the subject had the money, Detective Curtis exited the vehicle and the subject pointed his weapon directly at him. In an exchange of gunfire, Detective Curtis was struck in the left thigh. Detective Curtis returned fire, hitting the subject in the arm, causing him to drop his weapon before he fled. We are honoring detective Curtis with the police medal for his courage and actions which likely saved his own life, as well as the lives of possible civilians in the area and the other responding officers, when his round struck and disarmed the suspect.”

A wreath was laid on the memorial by grandchildren of two fallen officers. Although there were wounds and injuries suffered by law enforcement personnel in 2013, none lost their lives.

Personnel from the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Montana Police Department were also honored at the ceremony.

Assistant Chief Scott Hoffman

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