Overman Takes Reins of Kalispell Police Department

A year after Roger Nasset retired, Kalispell finally has a permanent police chief

By Justin Franz
New Kalispell Chief of Police Doug Overman on Jan. 17, 2019. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

For the first time in a year, Kalispell has a permanent police chief.

Doug Overman was sworn in as Kalispell’s chief of police on Jan. 21, a year after Roger Nasset retired from the force after 24 years, including 11 as chief.

Overman is no stranger to Kalispell. In the 1990s, he worked as wildland firefighter for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation before becoming a probation and parole officer. He joined the Kalispell Police Department in 2000, where he has held numerous titles, including school resource officer, detective, sergeant and captain.

Overman emerged from a field of 58 applicants.

“This department, the people who work here and this city mean a lot to me,” he said. “The opportunity to be chief of police means a lot to me.”

After Nasset announced his retirement, Wade Rademacher became interim chief in December 2017. Rademacher retired in November and was replaced by Patrol Capt. Tim Falkner, a 20-year veteran of the force. Overman said despite the uncertainty of the last year in not having a permanent leader, the department performed admirably. He is looking forward to settling into his new role before trying to move the department in a “positive direction.” One of his first duties will be to find someone to fill his previous position of investigation captain.

Overman said he plans on spending a lot of time in the community and wants to continue traditions that Nasset did, including coffee with the chief and other outreach programs.

One of Overman’s top priorities will also be making sure his team — Kalispell has 41 sworn officers — has the best training to handle people dealing with chemical dependency and mental health issues, both of which law enforcement encounters regularly.

Since Overman first joined the force in 2000, Kalispell has grown dramatically. Last week, while sitting in his office, the new chief recalled that one of his first calls as a patrolman was to a lonely road near a gravel pit on the north end of Kalispell. Today, that same road is in the middle of Hutton Ranch, one of the busiest and fastest growing parts of town. Overman said he looks forward to helping the department navigate the challenges that come with such growth.           Overman was one of two finalists who attended an open house at Kalispell’s city offices on Jan. 14, along with the other candidate, John Wesley Bruce, the chief of police in Frisco, Texas. The open house was a final audition for the two men. In the end, City Manager Doug Russell said he thought Overman was the best fit to the lead the police department going forward.

“Doug’s engagement with the employees, community and respective partners will be an asset to the organization as he begins his tenure as chief of police,” Russell said. “He demonstrates a character and skill set that will provide for successful leadership of the department.”

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