Steve Holton has been appointed Ravalli County Undersheriff.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman made the announcement this week. Holton, a 17-year veteran of the department, replaces Perry Johnson, who accepted a state position in Helena as Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Director.

Holton graduated from Hamilton High School and has been a Reserve Deputy, then was hired as a full-time deputy and now undersheriff. He is also a deputy coroner and is on the Montana Coroners Association board of directors. He is the sheriff office's Search and Rescue coordinator.

Holton graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in 2000. He has been patrol sergeant, lieutenant and hostage and crisis negotiation while at the sheriff's office.

He and his wife Michelle have owned the Back Door Deli in Hamilton since 1999.

Sheriff Hoffman said, in a news release, "Steve has shown a high level of dedication to the community and to the sheriff's office. His work ethic and record are impeccable, and he and his family are very committed to this community. His intelligence and understanding of our mission will serve us well for a long time to come."