As Darby's Chief of Police since 1984, Marshal Larry Rose has been a fixture in this rural Montana community and, with the help of his Deputy, works tirelessly to maintain peace and order in the Bitterroot Valley.
In 2021, his aging police vehicles were starting to show the wear-and-tear resulting from daily patrols and police work, and Rose knew it was time to invest in new assets. So, he applied for both a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan and Direct Grant, seeking funding for two new SUVs complete with lights, sirens, cameras, security cages, snow tires and the equipment needed to patrol Darby and its surrounding areas. They are also used when County, State and Federal law enforcement agencies request Mutual Aid. The older vehicles, which were purchased through USDA RD Community Facilities funding, had a 10-year lifespan, and Rose is hoping for similar results this time.
The vehicle replacement came at an opportune time, as Rose estimates that Darby now sees at least 12,000 cars daily on Federal Highway 93, which is the town's main thoroughfare. With the marked increase in traffic, Rose stated that the community really encourages them to stop cars for speeding through the town.
"There's a lot of complaints because cars are going so fast through here," Rose said. "We write a lot of citations," which was evidenced by the shelves behind him littered with ticket books. "We've got 15,231 entries since 1985," he noted.
Rose received both a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan and Community Facilities Direct Grant, and was able to use the funding to order the vehicles, as well as the specific equipment he wanted for outfitting them. "Equipping a vehicle is a lot more complex than you would think," Rose said, indicating that the USDA application process was easier than figuring out the logistics for outfitting them. "I'll drop-ship them to the equipment installers next time," he concluded. Great advice from this pro, who has been chasing down lawbreakers in the Bitterroot for nearly 37 years.
Darby's two new Dodge Durango SUVs will be used for routine business, like traffic stops, as well as to transport offenders who have been arrested.