Sidney Police Department

Law Enforcement Academy

Each sworn officer for the Sidney Police Department must, within one year of service, attend the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (M.L.E.A.) located in Helena, Montana. The 12-week academy instructs officers in all facets of law enforcement from general patrol functions to crime scene management.

In addition to academic requirements, officers attending M.L.E.A. must meet strict physical standards. Upon completion of M.L.E.A., successful graduates receive a Certificate of Completion. The total number of training hours are credited to individual officers who apply for certification through the Montana P.O.S.T. Council.

After initial training, officers may attend other specialized training through M.L.E.A., both at the academy itself or through regional training schools sanctioned by M.L.E.A. and P.O.S.T. Additional training hours enable officers to apply for more advanced certificates, such as intermediate, advanced, supervisory and command certification.


When Sidney was incorporated as a town on April 21, 1911, its population was approximately 386. On June 12, 1911, Jack Carberry was appointed as city Marshall. He died of typhoid fever later that same year and was replaced by Roy Heiner. On April 12, 1915, Sidney was incorporated as a city and Fred Hurst became the first Chief of Police, serving until 1941.

By 1940, Sidney's population had grown to 2,978. Louie Whited was appointed Chief of Police, serving until 1949. Altogether, he was on the police force 25 years. Whited was followed by Bud Atchison. The 1950 census showed a steady increase in population at 3,987 residents. Street signal lights were added that year. Henry Dooley became chief for a short time that year, followed by Chris Hansen, who served until 1953. During 1955, Ollie Barnes and Earl Mauge served short terms as chief. Late in 1955, Jim Moore was again appointed Chief. John P. Schmitt became acting chief in 1968, and was confirmed as chief in 1969. In January 1981, the current chief, Frank DiFonzo was appointed.