Major Steve Lavin Appointed MHP Colonel
On behalf of Attorney General-elect Austin Knudsen, we are pleased to share the news that Major Steve Lavin has been selected to lead our agency into 2021 as our new colonel.
Major Lavin’s extensive 28-year career in law enforcement as both a front-line worker and manager, provide him with a wealth of knowledge to draw from in his new role. Above all, Steve is committed to operating within our means fiscally, improving and sustaining community relationships, and increasing transparency in day-to-day Patrol operations.
“These are unprecedented times in the law enforcement profession,” Lavin said. “Now more than ever, we have to rely on our relationships with the public. To do that, maintaining public trust will be paramount. We do that by using the funds we are entrusted with judiciously and operating transparently, with the community always at the forefront of our minds,” he continued.
Major Lavin is preceded by Colonel Tom Butler who has led the agency for over seven years. Colonel Butler was a steadfast advocate for the 24/7 Sobriety Program, a program which substantially reduces impaired driving recidivism through twice-daily testing. Tom worked tirelessly to expand the radio infrastructure in Montana for emergency responders during his tenure. Colonel Butler’s innovative leadership is the reason why we are posting this announcement on Facebook today. He saw an opportunity for us to connect directly with the public and has fully embraced and supported our social media efforts over the years. His innovation extended to other technologies as well and the first MHP drone program for crash scene investigation was established under his leadership. In response to the growing drug crisis in our state, Tom helped establish the Patrol’s first formal criminal interdiction team. To assist the team, the Patrol’s K9 program greatly expanded under Colonel Butler.
We will always respect Tom for his razor-sharp intelligence, his innovative leadership, and all his hard work and dedication over the years.
“I think Steve will make a great colonel,” Butler said. “He’s well respected and level-headed. I’m looking forward to working together over the next few weeks to create a seamless transition for everyone,” Butler concluded.
“It’s been the honor of a lifetime serving Montanans and the employees of the Patrol,” Butler shared. “I always wanted a career where I could make a difference, and I found it,” he finished