HELENA – A proposed bill in the State Legislature would honor a fallen Broadwater County deputy by establishing the Mason Moore Memorial Highway.
On Monday, January 21 the House Transportation Committee heard HB-165 .
HB-156 was introduced by Representative Julie Dooling and would rename U.S. Highway 287 as the Mason Moore Memorial Highway.
“Deputy Mason Moore had dedicated his professional life to law enforcement,” said Dooling. “The purpose of HB-156 is simple, it would provide a small token of remembrance and gratitude to a man that gave the ultimate sacrifice to the citizens of Montana.”
Moore served as a Broadwater County Sheriff’s deputy until 2017 when he was shot and killed in the line of duty.
A sign including Moore’s name, title, date of passing and badge number would be installed at mile marker 109 on the highway if the bill became law.
Mile marker 109 is the spot where Moore lost his life.
In an emotional testimony at the committee hearing, Jodi Moore recounted the legacy of her late husband.
“Mason was nice and polite, he treated people with respect, he was a hard worker, a protector and was caring and compassionate,” recalled a teary Moore.
Moore asked that the committee advance the bill so the spot where her husband died could be transformed into a place to honor all those that serve.
“Taking that spot and making it a memorial would help change a painful location to a place where we can all remember Mason’s hard work and sacrifice. To not only honor Mason but all his brothers and sisters in blue,” said Moore.
Sheriff Wynn Meehan echoed Moore’s sentiment for HB-156 and his fallen deputy.
“It’s a way just to honor him and bring some closure and also to remember that law enforcement officers are human,” said Meehan/ “They have families and they’re loved by somebody out there too.”
Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox also expressed his support for HB-156 and the Moore family.
“Deputy Mason Moore was a servant to his family, his friends, his community, his state as his nation. He epitomized what was great about the fire and law enforcement services,” said Fox. “He knew the risks and the challenges yet he not only accepted them but he embraced them.”
Hundreds of members of law enforcement, first responders and citizens attended Moore’s funeral in 2017.
Lloyd Barrus was charged in 2017 with deliberate homicide by accountability for the death of Moore and hearings relating to his trial are currently ongoing.
On Monday the House Transportation Committee of the 66th Legislature voted unanimously to advance the bill.
The Mason Moore Foundation was established in his honor to help meet the needs of law enforcement agencies across Montana by providing grant opportunities.
Jodi Moore said the currently have nine grant applications they’re going through and hope to award the funds before March.
Reporting by John Riley for MTN News