University Relations and Communications
MSU Billings selects new chief of police
University Relations and Communications, 657-2266
MSU BILLINGS NEWS—Montana State University Billings is pleased to announce Denis Eugene Otterness has been selected as Chief of Police.
Otterness was most recently Deputy Chief of Police for the Bloomington Police Department in Bloomington, Minn. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University and a Master of Arts in Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.
Otterness brings over 27 years of broad experience and leadership to his new position, including over six years as a Task Force Officer for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). During his time with the Bloomington Police Department, Otterness served in various positions including patrol officer, detective, training sergeant, and firearms instructor.
In addition to his Chief of Police position, Otterness taught as an adjunct instructor for Normandale Community College in Bloomington, teaching collegiate level classes for the Criminal Justice/Sociology/Law Enforcement program. This experience has exposed Otterness to the lives of college students and well prepared him for his new role at MSUB.
Otterness will be assisted by the new Assistant Chief of Police, Brandon Gatlin.
“I am excited to start a new chapter in the history of the MSUB University Police Department,” shared Trudy Collins, vice chancellor for administration and finance.The dynamic duo of Denis and Brandon will lead campus safety and security efforts while following our philosophy of community oriented policing.”
The prior MSUB Chief of Police Scott Forshee retired in 2017. Several Interim Police Chiefs served while the search was underway for the position, most recently including Brandon Gatlin, and prior to that, Adam Davis. Otterness assumed his new role on Monday, Oct. 29.