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Libby City Council approves Ercanbrack as new chief of police

by HAYDEN BLACKFORD
Daily Inter Lake | April 26, 2023 12:00 AM

Libby City Council approved the hiring of Cody Ercanbrack as the municipality's new police chief at an April 20 special meeting.

Ercanbrack, who takes over in May, according to City Administrator Samuel Sikes, will face the task of rebuilding the police force after the resignations of four officers and departure of former Chief Scott Kessel in the past year. The department has just one remaining officer.

Following two investigations and the formation of a resident-led city Police Commission, officials hope Libby has turned a corner with Ercanbrack’s hiring.

“The Libby Police Department is committed to serve and protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in Libby, Montana,” Ercanbrack wrote in a mission statement.

He attended elementary, middle and high school in Libby and played football and tennis as a Libby Logger.

"When I saw the trouble the Libby Police Department was having I felt it was my time to give back to the community that has given my family so much," he wrote in a recent email. "I am ecstatic to be coming home and using all the training and experience I have to rebuild the Libby Police Department to be a model agency. Libby is my home, it always has been, and being given the great responsibility of protecting my home is the greatest honor of my life."

Ercanbrack worked for the U.S Forest Service, and as a reserve deputy after graduating from Libby High School, his wife Nikki Ercanbrack said in a post on social media. He attended Lewis and Clark State College, studying sociology and criminal justice. Ercanbrack joined the Idaho State Police in 2015, where he has held titles of trooper, corporal and specialist, she said.

“He is so ready to get to work and start rebuilding a relationship with the community as well as the trust of the community in the police department. He is also excited to return home and work for the city that helped shape him,” Nikki Ercanbrack said.

TO CODY Ercanbrack, leadership means leading by example, doing the right thing and creating an environment where people can develop and be willing to go beyond traditional expectations.

He wrote that his mission is for the department to be a model law enforcement agency and for it to be an innovative leader in public safety services across Montana.

He also wrote that the Libby Police Department should be an agency that fairly and aggressively enforces the law, enhanceS public safety through a combination of proven methods and incorporation of new technologies, engages the public through community outreach and education, and promotes and supports workforce development and wellness.

He believes the department should be transparent and a good steward of public funds and resources while being built upon the professionalism of its employees.

During the April 20 special meeting, Mayor Peggy Williams nominated Ercanbrack to the council. She had previously forwarded the referral to the city's Police Commission. According to Sikes, that body checked Ercanbrack's qualifications, called references and performed background checks.

Ercanbrack will still need to be fingerprinted and pass a final background check, but as he has already undergone stringent background checks in Idaho, he will be the new police chief, Sikes said.

The position’s pay is roughly $26.52 an hour. Ercanbrack was the only applicant and his first day will be around the first week of May, Sikes said.