Starting Monday, April 1, 2013, Missoula will have a city police officer dedicated to the downtown area.

13 year veteran officer Andy Roy will be patrolling downtown exclusively. Roy said Wednesday he would "deal with the negative issues that are impacting the downtown, especially the business owners, as well as the patrons and visitors to the downtown area." In addition, "over the years, they've noticed that the transient population has become so disruptive that something had to be done," Roy said.

Roy said he has received extensive training in handling situations with transients or others who may have mental challenges, so that confrontations can be kept to a minimum.

Roy said the Business Improvement District of downtown Missoula would pay a portion of his salary to dedicate his full-time attention to the area. He will be able to set his own hours, and operate either in uniform or in plain clothes, depending upon the situation.

Missoula Downtown Police Officer Andy Roy