Former patrolman seeks help finishing home, getting treatment
A former Montana Highway Patrolman from Ronan has started a Gofundme to raise money to finish building his family home and to access additional healthcare to deal with trauma stemming from his previous work as a trooper.
Zach Miller served as a highway patrolman from February of 2014 until November of 2021 when his employment was terminated following a request for help in dealing with mental health struggles. Miller sued the Department of Justice for wrongful termination and ultimately settled in January of 2023 for one year’s wages.
In a letter on his fundraising page Miller explains that years of witnessing “death and despair in so many forms” took a toll on his mental health.
“I’ve been assaulted, covered in blood that was not my own, performed CPR on at least five people including a 34-day old infant. I’ve investigated numerous fatal, gory, terrible crashes,” he writes.
According to Miller, a request for help led to a week of administrative leave followed by a meeting with several superiors in which his experiences were belittled and he was “treated with no respect, care or concern.”
“I’ve never gotten the treatment I need,” he continued. “I struggle daily with depression, anxiety, PTSD.” Highway driving has become so difficult Miller doesn’t often leave his home in Ronan.
During a recent phone conversation Miller said he believes what happened to him will have a chilling effect on other patrolman reaching out for help with mental health issues. “Nobody’s going to say anything after what’s happened to me,” he said.
Miller said he’s seeking financial assistance to finish building his house and to pay for in-patient mental health treatment at a facility in Vermont. His page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/xwefhy-rebuild-my-life
“I think it’s important for people to know what happened and for a little bit of closure,” Miller said of sharing his story. “This is how the state treated me.”