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Citizens’ Academy: A day in the life of a Cascade County Sheriff's deputy

After arresting a suspect on outstanding warrants, Dep. Wren prepares to take the suspect into booking.
A simulated DUI stop is one the demonstrations at the Citizens’ Academy
A simulated DUI stop is one the demonstrations at the Citizens’ Academy
Participants witness a high-speed chase from the dashcam of a patrol car.
Posted at 10:50 AM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 10:39:27-04

GREAT FALLS — About 30 members of the Great Falls community are learning what it takes to be a Sheriff's deputy by taking part in the Citizens Academy hosted by the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office. MTN News anchor Tim McGonigal is one of the participants, and is filing weekly reports of the experience. Participation in the class includes the opportunity to ride along with a deputy to learn more about the job.

Cascade County Sheriff's deputies have a lot of ground to cover. From Belt to Cascade, Centerville to Simms, they are constantly in motion investigating everything from domestic disputes to livestock on the loose.

One of those deputies is Bridger Wren, a seven-year veteran of law enforcement. The first call of his shift was assisting a man in locating his son, a suspected drug user with mental issues who had driven away in his pickup truck.

“I put out an ATL (attempt to locate) on the vehicle, gave the CP (complaining party) a ride home, detailed report to follow,” said Deputy Wren in describing how he handled the call.

That was immediately followed by a call to assist the U.S. Marshals Service. “This individual has some warrants out,” said Deputy Wren. “I haven’t clicked into them. I don’t know what they’re specifically for.”

Arrested without incident, the suspect was taken to the jail.

After the booking process, Deputy Wren sanitizes his vehicle and is ready to roll again.

With a calm yet controlled presence, Wren treats the people he helps with compassion and those he arrests with respect.

“I try to treat people how I would want to be treated if I was arrested, or if that was my brother or someone in my family,” said Deputy Wren. “I’d like them to be treated with respect. I’d like them to be held accountable but also treated with respect. There was no reason to jump him up and get him all riled up.”

Extra: Deputy Wren

Deputy Wren says he’s proud to wear the badge and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Every day brings a new challenge: “Yes, there are bad guys we deal with but that’s not day in and day out,” said Deputy Wren. “There’s so much more that I’ve dealt with. Sometimes I think, ‘Well, I don’t remember being trained for this in the academy,' when we’re trying to wrangle up a bunch of cattle.”