Columbia Falls Hires Chief of Police

New Chief Clint Peters described as ‘extremely experienced, very well-respected’

By Clare Menzel

More than four months after the Columbia Falls Police Department terminated its former chief, the city has appointed Clint Peters as its new Chief of Police.

The Whitefish native has served on the Whitefish Police Department since 2003, including as a patrol sergeant since 2008. He was the “top choice” after a “rigorous, thorough” application process, according to Columbia Falls City Manager Susan Nicosia.

“Mr. Peters showed a passion and an ability to be a leader of the police department,” Nicosia said. “He’s extremely experienced … very well-respected. And you can’t replace the enthusiasm he has to get the job done.”

While in Whitefish, Peters worked for one year as a school resource officer, and served as a Northwest Montana Drug Task Force agent. The father of four also coached high school basketball for seven years. Recently, his family moved to Columbia Falls.

“That was the big push (to apply for this job),” Peters said. “I get to come police my community.”

“I want to push to be a part of the community, understanding that we’re a service, we can work hand-in-hand (with the people of Columbia Falls),” he continued. “It’s not like they’re not doing that, but there’s a lot of opportunity for opening up. I’d rather be shaking hands and meeting people, not having to make 600 arrests or something. I want to be a face, not just this badge.”

At a city meeting on Nov. 7, the city council authorized Nicosia to begin salary negotiations.

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