The City of Libby has a new officer, who will start at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy on Jan. 7.
Ian Smith comes to Libby from Sandpoint, Idaho, where he served as a reserve officer for about a year and a half prior to becoming a full time officer for the Ponderay Police Department, Libby Police Chief Scott Kessel said.
Kessel said that Smith came highly recommended by the chiefs of both departments and was the most qualified applicant.
Smith will spend 12 weeks at the Academy, followed by 12 weeks with a training officer, Kessel said.
An Iraq veteran with the U.S. Army, Smith served in the infantry while deployed. He told the Libby City Council Monday that he wanted to live in a smaller sommunity such as Libby.
The vote to hire Smith by the interview panel — which included Kessel and the City of Libby Police Commission — was unanimous.
“I think he’ll be a good fit for the community policing that we want to do — being involved in the community we serve, living amongst us, getting along — I think he’ll be a great asset that way,” Kessel said.
“He’ll be approachable, and I think he’ll be more than capable of doing the job,” he said.