Friday was a big day for Missoula County Sheriff's Detective David Walrod.

It was the 30th anniversary of his service with the sheriff's office, and one of his colleagues, Lieutenant Jon Gunter penned a tribute to his friend and fellow law enforcement officer. The letter he sent to KGVO News is below.

"David Walrod has served honorably with the MCSO for 30 years. During that time, he has performed the duties of Patrol Deputy and Asst. Shift Supervisor, SRT team member, Firearms Instructor and for the last eight years; Detective Specialist II.

As a Patrol Deputy for 22 years; It’s hard to quantify Dave's experiences in Patrol when you consider the length and breadth of his career. Dave has participated with investigations involving everything from train derailments to hostage stand-offs to bank robberies, not to mention the countless everyday calls like domestic disturbances, thefts, and vandalism. Dave handled every call for service with the same professionalism, diligence and grace that he brings to every encounter, as he established his reputation as a steadfast team member who was always willing to pitch in where needed.

Dave's natural humility and kindness has allowed him the ability to inspire trust and devotion from his fellow Deputies, civilian staff, and citizens of Missoula  County. Dave is the type of public servant we all aspire to be, the person who really gives 110% of himself to everything with which he is presented. There is not any task or request for help which Dave will not honor with his full effort. Due to his selfless attitude; Dave has been described countless times as having a "heart of gold" by beneficiaries of his innumerable kindnesses.

Dave was an excellent Patrol Deputy but all of his outstanding professional and personal qualities have truly shown during the last eight years he has been assigned to Detectives. During this time his focused and meticulous approach to investigations has led to him having the highest case clearance stats of any current Detective. Dave's ability to successfully investigate case after case has set an example which may not ever be equaled. While doing this good work; Dave has established community relationships with local pawn shops and other businesses by being in daily contact with them about suspect and property descriptions; which has time and time again led to successful prosecutions and more importantly, the recovery and return of stolen property to Missoula County residents.

Dave has been called the "Swiss Army Knife" of Detectives for good reasons. Not only is he a great primary investigator, but due to his painstaking attention to detail; he is also the Detective Division's first choice for crime scene processing. This skill set was especially important last summer when he was called upon to locate and document an outdoor homicide scene near the Clark Fork River. There is not any local Detective who could have done a better job with such a complicated and extensive crime scene examination. It is notable that his diligence also led him to locate and identify the first witness to that homicide which resulted in the suspects being identified and ultimately located, arrested, and prosecuted.

Dave was also pivotal during a recent Officer Involved Shooting investigation. His scrupulous review of over 11 hours of investigative video resulted in an accurate description and time line of all of the events leading up to the shooting. His organizational skills were crucial in turning all of the investigative materials into a comprehensive case file which could be easily understood by anyone called upon to review it. Like every case he is directly involved with; Dave's efforts cannot be overstated regarding his ability to reach the correct conclusion through meticulous case work.

In closing: David Walrod has been an invaluable member of this Department for 30 years. During this time; he has consistently performed beyond any imaginable standard to become an integral part of the overall identity of the Missoula County Sheriff Office. It is notable that he continues to have such an enthusiastic and cheerful attitude regarding his duties and personal relationships after all of this time in service. I know of no one else who has had more of a positive impact within the Department and the community; not only as a Deputy, but as a kind and wonderful man. We can only hope that he continues to choose to remain an honored member of our Department for years to come.


Lt. Jon Gunter"