MISSOULA — Missoula is adding a second police officer to patrol the downtown area on foot and on bike meaning the beat will soon be covered seven days a week.
The Downtown Business Improvement District and the Missoula Police Department have partnered to provide another dedicated officer downtown, starting on Oct. 20.
Officer Jay Gilhouse, a native of Ronan, will team-up with Randy Krastel, who has been patrolling the downtown area for 2½.
The officers are funded by the Downtown Business Improvement District, the City of Missoula, the Missoula Parking Commission, and a community policing grant.
“The community policing model focuses on creative partnerships to help solve public safety problems and improve community health,” said Charlie Beaton, owner of Big Dipper Ice Cream and president of the Downtown BID Board of Directors.
“With a focus on safety, crime prevention, connecting with businesses and employees, and helping those living on the streets, the Downtown police officers have been a real asset for Downtown and Missoula as a whole,” he added.
The Dedicated Downtown Policing Program was created in 2010 as a partnership program between the Downtown BID and the Missoula Police Department.