About the Department

Stillwater County’s Sheriff is the chief executive officer of the agency and is elected by the residents of Stillwater County.  The Sheriff and 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 twenty-six 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 1,805 miles.  Additionally, this agency provides specialized regional services to the entire county and contract law enforcement to specific areas.

Through a contract with the Yellowstone County Detention Facility (YCDF), Stillwater County prisoners are housed at the YCDF. You can view prisoners at YCDF by clicking HERE.

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 an 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 anything 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat are the laws regarding concealed carry in Montana?

Answer:  Here are the links to the Montana Code Annotated that discuss the laws in Montana regarding concealed carry.  MCA 45-8-321 Permit to carry a concealed weapon and MCA 45-8-329 Concealed weapon permits from other states recognized and Constitutional Carry HB 102.

QuestionHow do I obtain copies of reports?

Answer:  A citizen may request a copy of a “call-for-service” for a fee of $2.00 per page.  A call-for-service contains the basic information collected by our office when an incident is first reported.  Any further information contained in the official incident or arrest reports contains criminal justice information that, by law, may not be released to the public.

Question:  How do I obtain fingerprints?

Answer:  Our office will take fingerprints for purposes such as employment.  There is a fee of $5.00 per card and is taken during the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM on Tuesdays, based on deputy availability.

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400 East 3rd Avenue North
PO Box 729
Columbus, MT 59019

Located on the first floor of the Courthouse. Entrance on the north side of the Courthouse.
(406) 322-5328


Charles E. Kem Sheriff/Coroner

Randy Smith Undersheriff/Deputy Coronor

Skylar Steele Chief Deputy/Deputy Coroner

April Svenson Administrative Assistant

Crystal Arnold Administrative Assistant