The first of the final candidates to be the new Police Chief was in Missoula on Tuesday to meet personally with city officials, the media and the public in the Sophie Moiese room at the Missoula County Courthouse.

Captain Mike Cobb with the Richland, Washington Police Department spoke with KGVO news and explained why he was interested in moving to western Montana to continue his law enforcement career.

“The Missoula area mirrors what we have in the Tri-Cities area quite closely,” said Cobb. “We’ve got a lot of outdoor activities, a very high quality of life and so it looks like a good, fun and inviting challenge for the next step in my career.”

Cobb laid out his law enforcement experience in preparing to be the chief of police in Missoula.

“I have 37 years of law enforcement experience with 20 of that in leadership roles,” he said. “I have a great deal of operational experience with over 30 years on a tactical team. I’m a K-9 handler and I’m also a certified expert in traumatic stress, so that a lot of problems that law enforcement officers experience in 2019 we have the expertise to bring a different perspective and maybe help the Missoula PD work through some of those issues.”

Cobb provided his definition of ‘community policing’, which was an important piece that the city leadership was interested in hearing about.

“It means being engaged with the community,” he said. “Having all of our citizens, anybody who lives, works or commutes to Missoula looks to the police department as a strong advocate, a strong sense of security and safety, and someone to turn to if you’re having a difficult time. Even the most routine of questions falls to the police department. We’re identifiable and we’re ready to serve.”

There will be another forum on Wednesday from 2:30 until 5:15 p.m. in the same location.