By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Carl Suta (R), 46 years old, is the second deputy in the sheriff’s department (PCSO) to sign on for the position of Pondera County Sheriff.
He is running as a Republican although he strongly believes that the position should be non-partisan.
Suta was born and raised in Shelby on a small family wheat, barley, and livestock farm east of Oilmont.
He went to school in Sunburst and attended Northern Montana College in Havre and Great Falls where he studied Business Administration for two years.
“I have been a resident of Pondera County for 23 years and fully intend to retire from the PCSO into the best community I know,” he says. Suta prides himself as being community minded.
He was part of the Pondera County Ambulance Service for 12 years, and during that time he was certified with the eight different modules that allowed Basic EMT’s the ability to do advanced treatments. He has also served as a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.
Before going to the PCSO he was with the city police for eight months and has served as a Deputy Coroner for three years.
Suta has volunteered time coaching ASA Soccer, assisting in Little League, USAW Wrestling, has been a Tiger Scout leader, helped out with intramural basketball, and served as the K, fifth-sixth and high school group leader at his church, Pondera Valley Lutheran.
He is a board member of the Conrad Wrestling Club, was a board member with CASA and with the church counsel at Pondera Valley Lutheran.
He has been involved with many local charities including Turkey Bucks and has delivered turkey dinners, to families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in Conrad, Brady, Valier, Ledger and Heart Butte.
Suta has helped with Conrad Dollars for Scholars golf tournament, and the Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run to support Special Olympics. You may have seen him as a runner, which he did for three years as the local leg leader, and getting Christmas presents for the Blackfeet children. He is also a member of the National Rifle Association.
He has been active with his children’s education and extra- curricular activities. “I am a firm believer that if you are going to police the people and youth of this community, it is truly beneficial to be involved with and vested in the community.
As a business major and supervisor, he is a huge advocate of shopping local. “I believe it is our responsibility to support local business, agriculture, and the growth of new business whenever possible,” he said.
Suta has over 400 hours of Police Officer Standards and Training and over 250 hours of Federal training.
He has trained with the New York City FBI and SWAT teams, learned interview tactics in Reno, and learned Indian Country investigations in Phoenix.
He has been deputized as both a Special Investigator for the FBI and a Special Deputy under the U.S. Marshal program.
He was reassigned to the Blackfeet Safe Trails Drug Task Force, which was sponsored by the Browning/Shelby FBI, “During which time we concentrated on multi-level narcotics investigations in Pondera, Toole, Glacier and the Blackfeet Reservation.
We investigated over 300 federal and state felony cases and undercover narcotics controlled purchases in a five-year period,” he said.
During that time he also assisted with many drug related crimes with the FBI, and has been involved with several different homicide investigations, as well as numerous assaults, sex crimes, and attempted homicides.
Suta also has special training in interviewing, interrogations, negotiations, active shooter situations, explosives, bullying, domestic and child abuse, child sex crimes, gang recognition and how to interact with gang members.
A trained grant writer, Suta has written several federal, state and private grants, including an $18,000 pole camera system, a $12,000 infrared camera, and numerous grants for cash to be used as undercover narcotics buymoney.
Suta has also attended the Blackfeet Community College for training on Cultural Diversity.
He and his wife Deanna have been certified as foster parents for the Montana Department of Child and Family Services, and as adoptive parents.
The couple has adopted a boy and girl that were abused and neglected. “This experience has influence me to have great compassion for children in this predicament,” he says.
In addition, the hours he has attained in training in childhood behavior, psychology and counseling are, “very helpful to my day-to-day life, but even more so in dealing with children and people in my professional life.”
His training has taught him that it is, “So important to be thorough, not only to make a good case, but to prove that innocent people are innocent.” He goes on to add, “You should always strive to make it your number one priority that an innocent person never goes to jail. This is one area of law enforcement where you need to be 100 percent.”
In his spare time, he likes to go camping and fishing with the family, shooting, riding quads, hunting, practicing basketball, football, wrestling and baseball with his children and riding a motorcycle with his wife.
Suta likes playing the guitar and can be seen running out to the golf course and back, although some would call it jogging, it sure feels like running in my mind he says with a big smile.
He also likes to make knives and a little known fact about him, he plays a mean mandolin.
His campaign slogan is “Law Enforcement Leadership with a Positive Approach.”It means that he believes any situation, no matter how challenging, can be better if it is approached with a positive attitude.
“I believe this approach will be a benefit when working with other agencies as well as the people we serve and protect,” he said.