MISSOULA — The new Missoula Chief of Police took over this week.
He's a cybersecurity expert who oversaw 14 counties in California and says he's honored to be in Missoula.
Jaeson White has 28 years of law enforcement experience ranging from use of force investigations to computer crime to K-9 operations.
White retired from the California Highway Patrol as an assistant chief and is starting his new role right here in Missoula as the Chief of Police.
Reporter Katie Miller had a chance to sit down with White and asked what made him want to take the job.
"The opportunity. It is a great city, it is a great department, and I will honor the traditions and culture and history of this department, but continue to move it forward,” White said.
As a licensed attorney he oversaw cases against the California Highway Patrol and reviewed every CHP use of force case.
White says his background in internet crimes, violent crime, and investigations will translate smoothly to MPD.
"It's not that there's anything truly different about the job. I just am in a different uniform and in a different place, trying to do the same thing of providing a safe community for people to live in,” White said.
He also oversaw the CHP computer network.
His goal in Missoula is to open lines of communication -- both internally in the department and with the public.
"Law enforcement traditionally has not done a great job of telling its story,” White said. “In an era of transparency and reaching out and providing as much information as we can, I think that's extremely valuable."
White says he plans to attend community forum meetings and wants to highlight the positive work the department does.
"I think if people understood the whole 360-degree look of what the police department is providing, I think it would continue to build that trust that we need to do our jobs,” he told MTN News.
He just got into town last week and says any changes won't be made until he has a chance to review policies and meet with stakeholders.
"I'm truly honored to be the chief here. It is the privilege of a lifetime and I don't take that for granted,” White said. “I've been doing law enforcement for 28 years, and I got into law enforcement because I wanted to help people."
White told MTN News that he's also looking forward to hunting, fishing, and mountain biking while he is in Missoula.
- Portion of this personal interview can be found on the last photo in this article -
Watch the full interview with Jaeson White below.