MHP new Chief honored to hold the position
Last month, Attorney General Tim Fox appointed Kenton Hickethier as the new Chief of the Montana Highway Patrol.
After weeks of training, Colonel Hickethier says he is ready to lead the organization he has spent his entire career in. Beartooth NBC's Jill Jagelski sat down with the new chief in an exclusive interview about his future plans for the highway patrol. Colonel Kenton Hickethier says even though he dreamed of one day being the Chief of the Montana Highway Patrol, he never really thought it would happen.
Hickethier says, "You know, you thought about it a time or time again but it didn't really hit home until recently."
Hickethier started his patrol career at the ripe age of 23. Over the years, he says he's picked up the hobbies of hunting, fishing and backpacking.
Hickethier says, "I love the fall time of the year when I can get outdoors and do that, and also just back packing in the Bob Marshall and other places throughout our great state."
Currently, Hickethier is busy planning the future of the highway patrol. At the top of his list, he says he wants to continue former Chief Mike Tooley's legacy of DUI enforcement. He also has some plans of his own.
Hickethier says, "One of them is the Bakken and the talk with the Otter Creek Coal Mine and some of the oil industry in North Central Montana and this part of the state, so we have to look at all of those issues."
Former Chief Paul Grimstad worked with Hickethier for several years, and says the he'll will do a great job in his new role. He says his only advice to Hickethier is a saying he lived by when he was chief.
Grimstad says, "Rank does not confer privilege or power but it imposes responsibility and that's something that I use to have on my desk and still have it on my desk because it keeps you grounded to the fact that who it is your working for and your working for the people that are under you and your working for the people of the state of Montana."
Hickethier says he appreciates the advice, and is looking forward to the obstacles ahead.
Hickethier says, "Some big challenges ahead of us, we are going to continue to raise the bar and follow in Colonel Tooley's footsteps."
Hickethier has been with the highway patrol for more than 27 years.
Story by Jill Jagelski, Beartooth NBC.
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