POLSON — Over the last six months, the Polson Police Department has faced turmoil.
In April, former Police Chief Wade Nash was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and resigned from his position in May.
Then on September 13, Polson Police Officer Matthew Timm was arrested on one count of felony sexual abuse of children. He's currently in custody at the Flathead County Detention Center.
Polson Police Chief George Simpson said he's working hard to regain the trust of the community that he calls home.
“This is our community, this is my community, my wife and my girls we all live here, we’ve been here for over 10 years, we’re rooted in it,” said Chief Simpson.
Chief Simpson is working to change the narrative around his police department after two disturbing incidents have rocked the small, tight-nit Polson community.
“Perfectly understandable that people would have some trust issues with that. I can tell you that public trust is probably the most important thing to us that we have, we cannot be a successful organization or police department for our community if we don’t have that trust," Chief Simpson told MTN News.
Chief Simpson took over the role of police chief in April after former chief Nash was arrested for DUI.
Two weeks ago, Officer Timm was arrested on a count of sexual abuse of children. Simpson said that after the allegations were brought forward regarding Timm, his department immediately brought evidence forward to outside agencies in order to remain objective.
“I got in touch with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to have them start to investigate and once we realized there was some validity to the allegations, I called the Division of Criminal Investigation and turned it over to the state and they kind of took the criminal aspect of that investigation from there," added Chief Simpson.
Chief Simpson said the police department promises to remain active in the community with open public safety forums planned in the coming months, as they work to rebuild the public's trust.
"We encourage and expect them to hold us accountable and to let us know, and that’s really what it’s about for everyone here, myself and my family included. Like we want to see Polson become a better place to live, work, learn and play, and that’s the goal.”