Injured Sheriff’s Captain Prepares To Return To Duty Following Shooting [YouTube]
After the New Year's Eve shooting involving Missoula County Sheriff's Captain Tony Rio and Deputy Jace Dicken was pronounced justified by the county attorney's office, the process is underway to return both men to duty.
Sheriff T.J. McDermott appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Wednesday and described the steps necessary to complete the process.
"It's our policy that an outside agency will conduct the investigation, and that's been completed by the Missoula City Police Department," McDermott said. "Captain Rio and acting Sergeant Dicken and another deputy have attended a critical stress incident debriefing. They've also attended counseling and mental health services. For Captain Rio to return to work we needed the investigation to be completed and reviewed by me and the county attorney, and that has been done. We have determined that he did respond appropriately and within our policy in the use of lethal force."
McDermott said one final step is left to complete.
"Right now for him to return, we're just looking for a fitness for duty assessment by a licensed mental health professional, and then he will be able to come back to work," he said. "He'll have to come back on restricted duty because he was injured in this incident, as well."
McDermott said the shooting incident has helped to bring a divided sheriff's office together.
"Anytime something like this happens, this department pulls together," McDermott said. "I'm very proud of our deputies and detectives that we're able to put differences aside and get back to doing our job, protecting each other and protecting our community."
County Attorney Kirsten Pabst issued a statement on Tuesday that Rio's actions were justified.