Deputy Moore's death brings up painful past for the Flathead - | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Deputy Moore's death brings up painful past for the Flathead

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The sudden death of Deputy Mason Moore of Broadwater County brings up a painful past for the Flathead Valley.

According to Montana Highway Patrol’s “end of watch” page four troopers died in the line of duty between 2007 and 2010.  Three out of the four troopers were killed in automobile accidents while the other was shot and killed by a driver near Three Forks.

Chief Roger Nasset says the tragedy that occurred today opens up an old wound for the Flathead.

Chief Nasset says, “It opens a wound, it really does because of what we do and our profession we’re all brothers and sisters in this profession and even though this is outside of our county, it’s in another part of the state.  It still affects us dramatically.”

That was something every law enforcement officer stressed to us today.  Even though Deputy Moore was not working for their county, Deputy Moore is still their brother.

For Trooper Laramie Stefani, he remembers this time vividly.

Trooper Stefani was working in the Flathead Detention Center when these four troopers were killed, and he said it struck a chord with him because he aspired to be part of the Montana Highway Patrol someday.

Trooper Stefani tells us, “Hearing that on the news I remember that, again striking a cord because that was what I wanted to be in the future."

We also spoke with Whitefish Chief of Police Bill Dial, who tells us the news of Deputy Moore’s passing rattled his team.

Chief Dial explains, “A lot of my guys were just reflecting on how quickly life and how precious life is and how quickly life can be taken away."

Chief Dial says that every officer knows the profession they are in is dangerous and this sort of tragedy could happen at any time.  Chief Dial says ironically many officers were just discussing how Montana hadn’t lost an officer since 2014.

Chief Dial explains, “We had the law enforcement parade over in Havre and we were discussing the situation on how nice it’s been that we didn’t lose any body since 2014.  And I wake up this morning and get this tragic news.”

Today, law enforcement are wearing mourning badges.  A black elastic band is placed over the top of the police badge, showing solidarity and respect to those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.

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