If you were to ask Officer Austin DeRoche and Officer Cesar Prieto Morales of the Cut Bank Police Department, why they wanted to be policemen, they both will tell you they want to make their community safe and they want to help people.
“We want the community to know we treat everyone the way we would want our family treated,” DeRoche said. “And, we want to build relationships with people here in our community.”
“We want to get people to stray from the stereotypical belief that copsare bad. We want them to know we are here for them, here to help them feel safe. And we want them to depend on us to make that happen,” Morales added.
Officer DeRoche was born in Yakima, Wash., and moved to Browning in 2001. He graduated from Browning High School in 2009. For the next three years he worked at the casino in Browning and then decided to make the move to Cut Bank.
“I worked at the Glacier County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer for the next three years and then started working here in May of 2016,” DeRoche said.
Officer Morales was born in El Centro, Calif., and was a “military brat, so we moved around a lot,” he said. “I think the place we lived the longest was Okinawa, Japan.”
He eventually graduated from high school in El Centro when they returned there. He worked for a couple years and joined the Marines in 2005. He went to college for a time getting into fitness-wellness. He then had an opportunity to go to Hawaii where he worked for a 24-hour Fitness Center.
He moved to Browning in 2013 when he was offered a job with the Tribal Police Department. “I was there for three years and then moved to Cut Bank and started here last October.”
Both men are happy with the move they made to Cut Bank and are even happier being part of the team at the Cut Bank Police Department.
“This department is like one big family. We have established some great relationships in this department,” DeRoche said. “Everyone lends a hand where it is needed and everyone follows through on their word. If they tell you they are going to do something, they do it.”
Morales agreed. “I think the best part about being here is the reliability we have for each other. We can depend on each other, all the time. And we work really well with the other city personnel, the county sheriff’s department, the volunteer fire department and EMS.”
Morales and his fiancé, Heidi Hannon, have four children. “They are actually my stepdaughters. Jazmine is 16, Kendra is 12, Kamry is nine and Jillian is 19 months old. It is a busy house,” he said with a smile.
He continued, “Heidi is a third-grade teacher in Browning, but we live in Cut Bank. We moved here because we wanted the kids to go to school in Cut Bank and I wanted the job at the police department and really wanted to develop my skills as a police officer,” Morales shared.
DeRoche has one child, Maria, who is eight years old. “I wanted to live in Cut Bank as I have family in the area and have some good friends here as well. And, like Cesar said, the schools here are really good and I wanted Maria to be able to go to school here in Cut Bank.”
Both men are not only committed to their family, but they are committed to the profession they have chosen, being a police officer.
They have both graduated from the police academy and are happy to have a job they love.