By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Barstad to Retire After 32 Years as Chief


Bruce Barstad has announced his retirement from the Glasgow Police Department after 32 years of service to the region. Barstad sat down with the Courier to reflect on his years of service and the changes the department has seen over the decades.

Barstad began his law enforcement career studying criminal justice at Dawson Community College in Glendive. The year was 1986 and he had taken on an internship during the summer and weekends with GPD. Following the completion of that internship, he began working seasonally in dispatch and juvenile probation before transferring to Montana State University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1989.

Following college, Barstad applied and was hired on as a patrolman with the GPD on July 1, 1989. “When I was hired there were 11 of us on staff,” said Barstad adding, “But we faced major budget cuts and I was delayed going to the academy because when I left there were only six of us left on the force.”

Barstad described his service in simple words, “It’s been amazing.” He recounted stories of conducting investigations, climbing the ranks of the department and attending trainings all over the world.

His most memorable experience, that did not involve a case, was being selected to be a fellow at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy. Barsatad said, he was only the 28th law enforcement official ever selected and that he was the first from a rural department to receive the selection. During that tenure, Barstad attended trainings that included the Drug Unit Commander’s Training and he even spent two weeks at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

Reflecting on how the department had changed over the years, Barstad recalled the offices being in the County Courthouse. “Back then the chief had his own office and we were all in the squad room. We only had two patrol cars, and I was the only one with a computer,” recalled Barstad, before describing the department today stating that now each officer has a patrol car.

In 32 years, Barstad says his career tailored towards investigations claiming that he investigated almost all the violent crimes and crimes against children in the community. His career to chief began with a promotion to senior patrolman, then sergeant to chief investigator, then lieutenant, captain and finally chief.

The best part, according to Barstad, “Was working with the people in the community and the people I work with in the office.” His last day will be July 29.


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