Longtime Helena Police Chief Troy McGee is retiring at the end of the month after nearly 44 years with the department.
Chief McGee said he knew in middle school while growing up in Helena that he wanted to go into law enforcement.
He attended Carroll College and worked a short time at the sheriff’s office before joining the Helena Police Department in July of 1975.
McGee became chief in 1996.
Now, after 23 years in the role, he said he’s ready to pass the reins.
“I remember some of the great times I had on the street. I remember some of the very dangerous times. You know, there’s some incidents that happened that were pretty scary. Some of the criminals I’ve put in jail, some of the crimes that I’ve solved, some of the lives I’ve saved, some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way,” said McGee. “You remember all that, but I think I made a difference.”
Chief McGee said one of his proudest moments was helping catch the man responsible for shooting two women in a Helena grocery store parking lot in the 1980s. Both women survived.
He plans to spend more time with his four young grandchildren, enjoy more of Montana, and fulfill a dream of visiting Ireland.
The chief said the department, and the community, have much to look forward to in the future.
“I don’t have any concerns about leaving here,” said McGee. “I think the community respects the police department in general, I think they’re very well liked and I don’t have any concerns that way. But there’s a lot of places they can go, there’s going to be some new ideas and some new blood. They’ll have some new ideas that either I didn’t think of or I was a little resistant to. They’ll move on and they’ll do some great things.”
Chief McGee’s last day at the department is March 29th.
There is no word yet on who will serve as interim chief until his replacement is found.
Story by Melissa Jensen, MTN News