The Sheriff, who is elected by the residents of Stillwater County, is the chief executive officer of the agency.  He and his command staff manage the day to day investigations, evidence management, civil process and a number of support operations necessary to provide full law enforcement coverage and services for Stillwater County.

The Stillwater County Sheriff's Office is the chief law enforcement agency in Stillwater County, Montana.  It is comprised of approximately sixteen employees including sworn officers, communications technicians, and professional support staff.  The Sheriff's Office provides general law enforcement, court security, dispatching, and search and rescue operations for the citizens of Stillwater County in a service area of 1,150,000 acres.  Additionally, this agency provides specialized regional services to the entire county and contract law enforcement to specific areas.

The Coroner is an elected public official.  In Montana, the Coroner can be a separate office, or it can be combined with the position of Sheriff, as it is in Stillwater County. The Coroner can appoint Deputy Coroners. 

The Coroner must determine the cause and manner of death.  Manner of death is listed as accident, homicide, suicide, natural, undetermined, or pending (waiting for autopsy results).  Cause of death is a medical-legal determination, such as cancer, heart attack, or blunt force trauma to the head. 

The Coroner must attend a 40-hour class on death investigation, and then attend 16 hours of training every two years. The Coroner can get assistance from the State Medical Examiner. 

The Coroner inquires into any death that was caused by other than natural causes (accident, homicide), or when no licensed physician will sign the death certificate. The death certificates are filed at the local registrar's office.

Montana law requires that the Coroner be notified immediately of a death.  The Coroner will then determine if an inquiry will be necessary.  No individual may move a deceased person without authorization from the Coroner.

Contact information:
PO Box 729
400 East 3rd Avenue North
Columbus, MT 59019
Office: (406) 322-5326
Fax: (406) 322-5328
Administration: (406) 322-4386


Clifford Brophy, Sheriff/Coroner

Charles E. Kem, Undersheriff/Deputy Coronor

W.G. Claunch, Deputy Investigator/Deputy Coroner

Bobbie Protain, Administrative Assistant

~~~~~~~~~ Road Closure Due to Rock Slide ~~~~~~~~~~

Stillwater River Road, above Midnight Canyon Bridge,
is CLOSED until further notice, due to a rock slide.
This closure is for the public’s safety. Thank you for your understanding.


UPDATED: August 31, 2015

To Individuals requesting information on the Stillwater River Road Rockslide:

The County Commissioners have received the latest report from GeoStabilization International (GSI).  Please see attached report in PDF format. 

The County has submitted a grant application to FEMA for review.  There are three levels of review that this application needs to go through.  The first level of review should be completed in 90 days. 

Thank you. 

Other reports and letters regarding the rock slide:
Fish & Wildlife Service-August 20, 2015 (Comment on Proposed Mitigation)
Geostabilization International –August 21, 2015 (Hazard Summary)
Corps of Army Engineers –August 21, 2015 (Receipt of Proposed Mitigation Request)
GeoStablilization International - July 13, 2015 (Preliminary Proposal)
SK Geotechnical - June 15, 2015 (Geotechnical Reconnaissance Report)



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