MISSOULA - Following renewal of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) for another 10 years, the Downtown BID and the Missoula Police Department have partnered together to provide a Dedicated Downtown Police Officer seven days a week, beginning October 20. Officer Jay Gillhouse will join officer Randy Krastel to patrol Downtown Missoula year-round on foot and on bike.
Gillhouse joined the Missoula Police Department in 2018, following nine years of service with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. A native of Ronan, Mont., Gillhouse served seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Krastel has been on the Downtown beat for 2 ½ years and has been with the Missoula Police Department since 2004. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he earned a B.S. in sociology and criminology from the University of Montana in 2003. Krastel was named the Downtown Employee of the Year in January for his contributions to the Downtown community in 2019.
Funded by the Downtown BID, the City of Missoula, the Missoula Parking Commission, and a community policing grant, Gillhouse and Krastel will work together to ensure Downtown Missoula has a dedicated police officer on the Downtown beat seven days a week.
“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.”
The Dedicated Downtown Policing Program was created in 2010 as a partnership program between the Downtown BID and the Missoula Police Department. More information on Downtown safety can be found online at Downtown Safety.