Background and Experience

As a lifelong Montanan, Corey understands our way of life here in Sanders County. He has the experience, background and leadership training necessary to be an effective sheriff.

Life Experience

I’m a lifelong Montanan. Growing up in the Billings area, I enjoyed all the freedoms a Montanan childhood can offer. I was 8 years old when I marched in the living room and announced to my Dad that “I was going to be a Marine and then a Cop” . His response was “Ok buddy we’ll see”. 

 A week after graduating from West High school I left home to become a United States Marine. During my military service I was selected for and served in the Marines Special Operations Command’s  F.A.S.T.  Co. (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team). I was promoted rapidly attaining the rank of Sergeant in just 2 ½ years.

 In FAST  Company.,  I performed as a Team leader, Squad leader and Platoon Sgt. In both rolls of leadership and management, I learned extremely valuable lessons.  Some circumstances had little to no stress, while others were extremely stressful. My ability to remain calm gained the respect of those under my charge as well as recognition praise of those above me in my chain of command. I received several awards and Letters of Commendation.

 Upon my return to Montana I started a family.  I have two children, one is attending college in Montana and my youngest is a Sophomore at Noxon High School.  My wife and children are my support and I would not have been able to have the career I’ve had without them.  There was an adjustment for me moving from the military to civilian law enforcement. When I became a Yellowstone County Deputy I understood that I was much more effective in my job when I listened to what the public I served needed.  The leadership and management skills I learned in the military were useful and applicable in adjusting to public service.   

Law Enforcement

 I began my law enforcement career as a reserve Deputy in late 2005 with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office in Billings. My time and experiences working as a reserve Deputy reaffirmed my dedication to becoming a full time Deputy (fulfilling my childhood goal).  I was hired as a full time Deputy beginning in  2007.   I worked patrol and taught defensive tactics, handcuffing,  Pressure Point Control Tactics (P.P.C.T), Ground Avoidance Ground Escape (G.A.G.E), Escape & Evasion (E&E), Spontaneous Knife Attack, Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention (S.H.A.R.P.). I was a senior operator on the boat crew and recovered 25 victims from the Yellowstone River during the 10 years on the boat crew. I ran the newly created Search and Rescue (S.A.R) and became a Field Training Officer and Team member of the TRT (Tactical Response Team) commonly known as SWAT.  I was the Officer in Charge for my shift, making me responsible and accountable for the actions of the Deputies on my shift as well as approving their investigative reports and ensuring a thorough investigation had been completed.  In conjunction with all my other assignments I was also tasked by  the Sheriff and the command staff to investigate all possible reports of abuse or neglect and any other livestock crimes.  During the 10 years I was with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office I was involved in a variety of investigations at all levels of severity. I had the opportunity to assist the Detective Division with a multitude of investigations to include arsons, burglaries, thefts, homicides, officer involved shootings and drug related crimes,.  I learned valuable investigative techniques that I utilized in my patrol investigations.

 During my 10 years in Yellowstone County, I received seven commendations for dedication and professionalism.

 In January of 2017 I transferred to the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office moving in to the Noxon area. The Deputy position I was hired for required the applicant to live west of Thompson Falls which allowed me to fulfill a promise to my wife that we would return and live in her childhood stomping grounds.

This year, 2022, marks my 16th year as a Deputy Sheriff in Montana.  My experiences have prepared me to take on the task of the Sheriff Of Sanders County. The role of law enforcement has changed — we are called to be psychologists, social workers, problem solvers, and educators not just ticket writers.

My Mission

As your Sheriff I will work hard to promote and encourage a safer community, uphold the Constitution of the State of Montana and the Constitution of the United States of America I fully support the 2nd Amendment (Right to keep and bear arms) but I also support the right of Freedom of Speech, press, religion, assembly and petition, (1st amendment) as well as no unreasonable search or arrest, (4th amendment). 

I will reinforce the core beliefs of Protect and Serve  – I will serve you, protect you and maintain justice at all times, honoring the rule of law while listening to you. I will always be accessible to you, committed to answering your questions, relieving your concerns and working with you to build upon a community based law enforcement office that will not forget who we serve.

I look forward to building and engaging in community partnerships to sustain a safe and tranquil quality of life for all of Sanders County.

To achieve these goals for the residents of Sanders County, I will also work to make changes within the department itself.

 Some of the areas I feel need to be addressed are:

  • Updating procedures and technology to this agency
  • Constant improvement of professional standards
  • Providing good coaching and mentoring
  • Fair employment and promotion practices 

It will be my honor and privilege to serve as Sheriff of Sanders County.  I humbly ask for your vote.

                                –  Corey Wheeldon, Candidate for Sanders County Sheriff