What's with the Montana police? (RANT)

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by John E Davies, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. John E Davies

    John E Davies

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    I just finished a 7 day, 1300 mile Ghost Town trip through southwest MT and I saw ONE officer of the law the entire time, and that was a trooper transitting downtown Missoula. We were headed back to Spokane mid-day today when we ran into the closure of I-90 west of Missoula due to 4 fires burning along the highway. The road was shut down clear from St Regis to Missoula, a mountainous area with very few alternative routes

    At earlier points we ran into civilan cars parked across the frontage road, blocking travel because of the fire. The people manning these roadblocks were completely clueless about what was going on and we ended up back-tracking repeatedly to find a way around the fires.

    When we finally got there, the traffic was backed up for SEVEN MILES at St Regis because there was an uncontrolled 4 way stop at the interchange. There were additional moron, clueless civilian fire fighters helping to get people off the freeway, but no one thought to direct traffic through the stop signs.

    Where the heck were the police? We saw not ONE sheriff, deputy, cop or trooper, or even a Salvation Army guy. What's with Montana? Did we see their one highway patrolman in Missoula?

    Man, I am glad I didn't have an accident, or I would still be lying there beside the road....

    John


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  2. skyshark186

    skyshark186

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    Actually a lot of them are trained to fight fires as well. So they may have potentially been doing that. Or if they were having to evacuate homes and such they would have been needed there. They may also have been blocking the higher risk areas, or patrolling the area of the highway that was blocked off to make sure no one was caught in the blaze.

    Not making an excuse, just giving a possible explanation.
     
  3. shocker

    shocker

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    Montana is a state with a population less than many cities. The ratio of police to citizens is probably standard, they're just spread out all over the place.
     
  4. NMuzj100

    NMuzj100

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    The Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) is responsible for managing highway traffic safety in the state. It is the largest law enforcement agency in Montana, with about 200 officers and 70 civilian employees in eight districts throughout the state.​

    Spread out over 24/7, the 4th largest state in the country with vacation, sick and Iraq call ups I can see why you might not have had as much law enforcement available as you wanted.

    Those available weremost likely making conatct with the people who's homes were in the danger area.
     
  5. calamaridog

    calamaridog

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    "There were additional moron, clueless civilian fire fighters helping to get people off the freeway, but no one thought to direct traffic through the stop signs."

    So now volunteer firefighters are clueless morons? People risk their lives for no pay and buy their own equipment and that is the best thing you have to say?

    My goodness, it's not like you got stuck in traffic going through LA or something:rolleyes:

    "Man, I am glad I didn't have an accident, or I would still be lying there beside the road..."

    I doubt those volunteers would have left you to die but I can't vouch for their first aid skills...
     
  6. Jetboy

    Jetboy

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    In Montana we also don't have emissions or safey inspections, and it's legal to drive on the highway with 52's :flipoff2: . Most of us prefer not to be dictated to by the police. There are just a lot of damn tourists in the summer that clog the place up, but if were lucky most of them won't move here.
     
  7. Landpimp

    Landpimp GOLD Star

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    Saw a bumper sticker that you would like


    "If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?"

     
  8. John E Davies

    John E Davies

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    I am impressed with ANYONE who volunteers to fight fires - it's not a job I would care to tackle - but the ones I talked to WERE clueless morons - they had NO idea what was going on, where we could go to bypass the fires, or even if the Interstate was closed (which it obviously was).

    At the Missoula side of the closure there was NO ONE and NO SIGNS at the Interstate exits telling us what to do - merely barricades and a couple of detour arrows sending us off into the boonies and we quickly got lost in a maze of local gravel back roads. We were forced off the highway FIVE exits before the actual fires. One guy sent us down a closed road, so we had to turn back after 3 miles at another roadblock. These guys carried radios, but they just weren't communicating that day....

    Maybe all the others are fine people, but the guys manning the roadblocks should have been at home cooking burgers on the grill.

    I talked to several families at a rest stop later on and they were all really steamed at the mess.

    As far as lying beside the road - I am sure a good samaratan would stop to help, but I just can't understand where the police are in MT.

    Rant over. I feel better now - sitting in LA style traffic in the boondocks watching the gas gage creep toward E is not a very nice experience.

    John
     
  9. fsusteve

    fsusteve

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    I don't know how big these fires were or if there was any sense of Incident Command system in place, but sometimes depending on weather things can change constantly and if Emergency Management isn't prepared it can become overwhelmed quickly. Don't get too upset, in rural areas yer dealing with part-timers/volunteers who aren't always up to speed on larger incidents like larger urban departments.

    In other words, s*** happens, roll with it.
     
  10. Jetboy

    Jetboy

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    I actualy have nothing against the tourists. They bring lots of $ to montana, the problem is when they come to MT from cali or the east coast primarily. and tell us how to live by joining the city council or supporting the sierra club (teddy turner) ect. I say go back and fix where you came from before you come here and give us advice. We see that you have wrecked the way of life your state once had. The thing that they don't realize is the crime and violence that they are leaving is being done by their children and their housekeepers children. I'm not ignorant either, there are lots of nice people from all over there are just quite a few bad ones and they all end up here.
     
  11. brew8

    brew8 SILVER Star

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    I drive Montana's Highways all the time, I work for the electric and gas utility and take care of their communications system, so we carry water sprayers with us all the time just in case of fires along the road, I have put out two already this year, someone chucking their cigarette butt out of the window. There were 14 seperate fires along the freeway so I'm sure they were set by some one dragging a chain on the camper or the like, I sure the HP and the sherrifs were evacuating people and guiding stranded touirists out of the fire area. They also closed the river to allow the helecopters to dip for water.
     
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