MISSOULA — The City of Missoula has decided to stay in-house in selecting a new police chief.
Missoula Mayor Jordan Hess has appointed Captain Mike Colyer to the top slot in the Missoula Police Department.
Colyer, who was born and raised in Missoula, is a 27-year veteran of the MPD and has been serving as interim police chief since March. He will assume official duties on June 12, 2023, if his appointment is confirmed by the Missoula City Council.
“I’ve appointed Captain Colyer after a thorough process in which we talked with dozens of Police Department staff members,” Mayor Hess said. “I’m very pleased. Mike is thoughtful, methodical and compassionate, and he cares deeply about the department and the community.”
After graduating from high school in Missoula, Coyer attended the University of Montana before attending North Idaho College, where he earned a degree in Law Enforcement.
He worked as a police officer for the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Police Department from 1994 to 1996 before returning to Missoula to begin his career with the Missoula Police Department.
As a patrol officer, Colyer was a motorcycle officer in the Traffic Unit and worked as Field Training Officer before being promoted to sergeant in 2001. As a sergeant, he supervised Uniformed Patrol Teams, the Traffic Unit and the Street Crimes Unit.
Colyer was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008 and served in the Office of Professional Standards, where he was responsible for citizen complaint investigation, internal investigations, recruiting and new officer hiring.
He graduated from the 244th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 2011 and later that year he was promoted to captain and assigned to the Detective Division. In that role, he helped guide MPD's work with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the Department’s response to sexual assault.
Colyer transferred to his current assignment as the Administrative Captain in 2022, where he oversees the Office of Professional Standards, the Property and Evidence Unit, the Records Unit, Police Support Specialists and Training.
Colyer has also served on the SWAT Team, including as SWAT Team Leader and the Tactical Operations Commander. He has also been an instructor in chemical agents, impact weapons, TASER and the use of force.
A news release also notes Colyer was one of the first Drug Recognition Experts and Drug Recognition Expert Instructors in Montana and served as Drug Evaluation and Classification Program Coordinator, Agency Coordinator and State Coordinator.
Captain Colyer is married and has two children in college. He enjoys hunting, fishing, cycling, running and spending time on Flathead Lake.