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Staff changes and immigration program at Cascade County jail

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 16:55:08-05

GREAT FALLS — Some changes are coming to the Cascade County Detention Center, after the retirement of a longtime warden and a new agreement with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A new warden is set to take over for a short period of time after the current warden, Captain Keith Kaululaau, who served in the Sheriff’s office for 23 years, retired this week.

Deputy John Nolan, the resident deputy for the Sun River Valley, will serve as interim warden until a new one is appointed.

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter praised Kaululaau’s legacy in an interview on Thursday: “I basically have to give him credit because otherwise he won’t give any to himself. That’s how humble of a guy he is. As a new Sheriff coming in, I often was worried and concerned about different issues we had in the jail, and he always had an answer.”

It comes after Cascade County commissioners agreed at a meeting last week to a memorandum of agreement between the Sheriff’s office and ICE that will allow some detention officers to act as immigration officers in certain situations.

“In the past, if there was an immigrant who was arrested and put into our jail, an ICE agent out of Helena or Billings and sometimes in Missoula would have to travel up,” Slaughter said. “There’s a very short period of time in which they had to serve that warrant, and if that warrant wasn’t served, the person had to be released.”

Slaughter said the agreement will allow ICE to train detention officers on how to serve warrants to immigrants, and give them authority to do so.

CCSO has also absorbed the position of “county constable,” or peace officer, after Cascade County’s constable retired earlier this year. That decision created a job opening for another deputy.