Johnson Street Shelter Security Will Have a ‘Hands Off’ Approach
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - While touring the Johnson Street Warming Shelter on Thursday, KGVO News spoke to Wade Herbert, owner of Black Knight Security and Investigations, the company that will be providing security at the shelter starting on Monday.
Herbert said his approach to security at the shelter will differ from the previous company.
Black Knight will have a 'Hands-Off' Approach to Security
“I have a different approach than the previous company had,” began Herbert. “It was a bid process, so we went through the process and we got the bid. We're taking a much more ‘hands off’ approach than maybe it had been done before. We won't have officers just standing over and lurking over everybody. We don't think that's a good idea, and so we'll be readily accessible to them here and at the Pov (Poverello Center) itself.”
Herbert said Black Knight has an existing contract with other city entities.
"We already have a contract with the city of Missoula for parks, so we'll still continue to do the parks that we always have done," he said. We do City Hall currently and so we kind of understand what the city is looking for and we're just going to try to do the best that we can and make sure the people that come here are all as safe as they can be."
Herbert said Black Knight will not get Involved with Private Property Disputes
Herbert said the policy of Black Knight Security will be not to get involved in private property disputes away from the shelter itself.
“We’re very cautious about violating people's rights, and so with private property, I really have no authority. I don't have that kind of authority, but we certainly will try to help as much as we can.,” he said. “Maybe it's articulating to those folks where they can be or that this (the shelter itself) is here, and it's an option for them and maybe try to convince them of that. We do this similar thing in parks, right? The parks all close at 11:00 p.m. and we have to explain to them that it's just unlawful for them to be here, however on private property that's harder for us, because I don't have any authority there.”
Black Knight will provide Regular Roving Patrols
Herbert said Black Knight will provide a regular roving patrol to enhance security.
“There will be a roving patrol, so how many times a day for how long we'll be here, I couldn't tell you,” he said. “But if we are needed here, then we'll be here. We're needed at the Pov (Poverello Center), then we'll be at the Pov, but we really don't want to have a substantial presence 24 hours a day. I don't think that's a good role for us, and so we're going to try to avoid that but with having two guys 24 hours a day, you're going to see us more often than not for sure.”
The Johnson Street shelter will open on Monday, October 31, and remain open through March.