New Flathead Sheriff planning to prioritize social media after taking office

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 22:23:24-05

KALISPELL – New Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino was born and raised in the Flathead Valley, graduating from Flathead High School in 1996.

“As a kid I think we all have the dreams of being a policeman or fireman as we started off younger, and as I grew it was different adventures, but my family was great.”

Those dreams came true for Heino, the 22nd sheriff of Flathead County.

After serving for eight years, Sheriff Chuck Curry stepped down from office last December.

A new goal for the Sheriff? Heino wants to be as transparent as possible, so he’s using the power of social media.

“Over time, technology has really changed a lot of how we do things and how we operate. It allows us to be more transparent in some cases. It allows us to be quicker and faster, reaching a hundred-thousand people.”

Social media is saving the office time as well.

“Going to meetings, and those things were very difficult and now with social media, the followers that we’ve had allows us to get that out faster.

Committed to transparency, Heino created a brand new position for the sheriff’s office. A Public Information Officer, who’s number one job is to feed information to the public.

PIO Travis Bruyer tells us why this role and social media is so important.

“What’s great with that is that we can get information out so much quicker, if we’re looking for a lost child or if we have a suspect that we’re looking for and everybody wants to be the eyes and ears. So when that stuff pops up we get great responses,” Bruyer said.

With close to 15,000 followers on Facebook, Bruyer says his goal is to double the sheriff’s office’s Facebook followers this year.

While he’s getting settled, Heino says he still keeps former Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry’s number on speed dial, in case of emergencies.

You can click here to learn more about how to receive daily social media updates from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

 — Story by Maren Siu – MTN News