Ginny Merriam, communications director for the City of Missoula, has worked closely with Welsh for the entirety of his seven years serving as PIO.
She said he has pioneered the position.
Not only has Welsh forged strong relationships with local media and government employees, he’s also worked to make information as accessible as possible, including launching Missoula police accounts on social media to share information with the public, Merriam said.
“I think he has been exceptional in stepping into this role and making it so strong.”
Merriam emphasized how difficult it can be to step into a communications role without a background in journalism, which Welsh does not have.
“Here’s Travis, just a police sergeant, who steps into the role and communicates really well,” Merriam said.
Serving the public has been a pillar of Welsh’s career.
“For somebody like me who likes to feel like they’re contributing somehow, holding people accountable for creating victims has made this career worthwhile for me,” Welsh said.
Growing up, he watched his dad work as a firefighter, which inspired him to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“My dad was a fireman in the city of Great Falls and I wanted to do what my dad did,” he said. “But as I got older, I had friends that had entered law enforcement and I rode with them and kind of got a taste for that.”