Libby Appoints New Police Chief

Watson is taking over for James Smith who retired on Aug. 31

By Justin Franz

Terry Watson will be appointed as chief of the Libby Police Department this week. Watson is taking over for James Smith who retired on Aug. 31.

Watson was Smith’s handpicked successor, but in August it was revealed that the officer had been expelled from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in 2003. According to a report in the Western News, Watson had allowed another student to copy a report he had done. Both men were expelled, but in 2010 Watson was readmitted. He was hired by the Libby Police Department in 2009.

The fact Watson had been expelled raised eyebrows among city officials, but they said that he has been upfront about the situation and after discussing the issue decided to approve his promotion.

Watson said his is looking forward to taking the top spot in the department and being involved with the community.

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