Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula County announced on Tuesday that part of the Sheriff’s Office currently located at the courthouse will be moved to a facility recently purchased across from the detention center.

I spoke with Chris Lounsbury, Missoula County Chief Administrative Officer about the coming move.

Parts of the Sheriff's Office will be Moving to a Mullan Road Location

“We are purchasing a building that used to be the old probation and parole building directly across from the Detention Facility on Mullan Road, and that'll give us a chance to co-locate the sheriff's department's Patrol and Detective functions out next to the detention facility to make it a little bit easier for him overseeing that staff of a little over 100 individuals.”

Lounsbury said the move has been a long time in the planning, and provided financial details.

The $2 Million Price of the Facility is already Fully Funded

“We have actually been planning for this building since before the pandemic, but not this, this specific space,” he said. “It was fortunate that it came back on the market. The building itself was about $2 million and has been part of our capital improvement plan, so that's coming out of a mix of funding that the county has been putting aside for that, as well as a little bit of money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and then the only real piece that's going to have to happen before the Sheriff's Department can move out there is we'll have to put in some security cameras and some minor modifications to create a lobby for them. So we're hoping to have them out there by spring or summer of next year.”

Lounsbury said some functions will necessarily remain at the Missoula County Courthouse.

Some aspects of the Sheriff's Office will Remain at the County Courthouse

“Primarily the sheriff's administrative offices as well as the detectives and then the patrol division, which is currently housed on the second floor of the courthouse will move, but the other side of that function, which is the civil side that's tied directly to the courts, related to things like warrant processing or civil paperwork will stay at the courthouse so that folks who are interacting with the courts don't have to leave the building to go someplace else.”

Lounsbury further detailed the agencies that will stay downtown.

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“We’ll keep the civil functions down here next to the courthouse, and that will give us a chance as they move out of that space, to bring the rest of the court functions related to District Court, pretrial, and youth court into the courthouse, to make it a little easier for folks when they're moving between Court Services.”

The county had planned to purchase the building in 2018, but was outbid at the time.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley

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