News & Features

Law Enforcement Panel Rescinds Sheriff’s Decertification

Former Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards was decertified by panel after a domestic disturbance in 2017

HELENA — A state law enforcement panel has rescinded a former Cascade County sheriff’s decertification in an agreement that would allow him to return to law enforcement in four years, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

The Montana Public Safety Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) revoked the certificates held by former Sheriff Bob Edwards in 2018, after a domestic disturbance at a hotel in Helena in 2017. Edwards reached a deferred prosecution agreement for misdemeanor partner/family member assault and the charge was dropped.

Edwards refused to surrender his certificates and appealed the revocation. The agreement approved Wednesday requires Edwards to drop his appeal.

If Edwards seeks another law enforcement job that requires certification, he will have to attend a basic academy class, said Perry Johnson, POST executive director.

Edwards told a council subcommittee he did not intend to return to law enforcement, Johnson said, noting Edwards would not need any certifications to run again for sheriff.

Councilman Kevin Olson of the state Department of Corrections asked why they were revoking the decertification if Edwards did not intend to return to law enforcement.

Edwards said the decertification was hurting his ability to find gainful employment.

John Strandell, a commission member and former Cascade County sheriff, said he struggled with the agreement, as well, but said it could be costly for POST if Edwards decided to appeal in court.