Following the political rancor of the last election, Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott is reaching out to form a citizens advisory committee.

McDermott has asked former Missoula City Manager and County Commissioner Larry Anderson to look into the possibility of forming the first such committee in the state.

"If you remember in the election, all the candidates were Democrats, so basically, the election was over after the primary, " Anderson, a Republican, said. "After the election was over the sheriff asked me and some other folks what he could do to reach out to the community at large and put away the politics.He wanted folks to know that law enforcement was there to serve the entire community and not just those folks that elected him."

Anderson said one of the ideas that came out of their conversation was a citizens advisory committee to advise the department and to serve the community at large.

"If you remember, there were stories nationally at that time of police brutality and shootings and that sort of thing," he said. "As the sheriff took office, I think there were two officer involved shootings here, one with the city and one with the county. So, we thought this might be a good time to bring in a cross section of the community to advise the sheriff."

Anderson said the idea was to bring all parts of the community together, both politically and socially.

"There will be some designated positions on this committee," Anderson continued. "One would be appointed by the Democratic Central Committee, and one by the Republican Central Committee. We also wanted one person who lived outside the city of Missoula to represent county residents, one representing the Native American community and one representing victims of crime. The rest would be chosen at large for a total of nine. Once the five designated members were appointed, the county commissioners would put out a notice for the other four."

Those chosen for the committee would have to meet a minimum of four times a year, in addition to other instances that may be called for by Sheriff McDermott.