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MHP Polson detachment gets new supervisor

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POLSON – There’s a new sergeant in town. 

Sgt. Chan Barry, 42, was recently promoted from a trooper position in Columbus to supervisor of the Montana Highway Patrol’s Polson detachment. He replaced Paul Pfau, who was in the position nine months. 

Barry, who started with MHP in 2008, helped cover the area from Big Timber to Red Lodge in his previous position. 

He will be overseeing five employees in his new position, including Troopers Shad Andersen, Tony Isbell, Aaron Day, Charles Burton and Zach Miller. 

Although Barry will be busy with administrative duties, he said his goal is to work one day each week on patrol. 

Barry said his initial interest in becoming a trooper was because his dad, Steve Barry, served with MHP for 24 years. 

“It looked like an interesting job,” Barry said. 

“We have a lot of freedom on where we want to work,” he said, adding that in most cases troopers will be covering Lake County. 

He enjoys the variety of work the position offers, which includes helping people change their driving behavior or when a vehicle breaks down or is involved in a crash, for example.  

“Our primary job is traffic safety,” he said, but noted troopers also investigate crashes and other criminal acts on highways. They will respond to calls off roadways when needed, he said, noting MHP has a good relationship with all local law enforcement agencies. 

Barry has a wife, Mary, and three young children who plan to relocate to the area soon.  

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