MISSOULA, Mont. - Authorities are taking to the streets to combat violence within the transient community. Everyone from private property owners to the Missoula Police Department, the Forest Service and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office will team up to patrol the transient community in an effort to curb violence.
The idea is to build relationships with transients so they are willing to come forward with information about criminal investigations within the transient community.
Missoula County Sheriff Deputy Brad Giffin told NBC Montana a number of government agencies are working together to build relationships to help deter criminal activity.
"Those criminally-minded people will probably not want to be here because of the police presence. Number 2, because we have an interest in helping those who are victims of crime who don't generally see the police, building that relationship might build a level of trust that we need in order to solve some crimes that involve the transient population," Giffin said.
The reason so many agencies need to come together and get involved in this initiative is because the transient camps spans over many different jurisdictions.
The sheriff's office says the plan will also focus on cleaning up the camps.
NBC Montana went to a transient camp in Missoula. The camp was consumed by garbage and there was a strong odor throughout the camp.
Business owners and residents say the violent transient behavior has them worried.
Riverfront Pawn owner Ericka Hughes said they had to put up a fence to keep transients from camping on their property.
Authorities hope more patrols and cleaner camps will deter violent crimes from happening in the future.
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