On Seeing “Staffing-Challenged” Police Everywhere In Zoom Town

by Travis Mateer

If it wasn’t for a recent Gomer story about Missoula PD seeking solutions to staffing challenges I would have thought Missoula PD was doing just fine, seeing as how I see police EVERYWHERE.

For example, the previous evening (which was absolutely LOVELY with the sun setting and temperature allowing for only a light jacket) I was walking back to my studio, enjoying a scoop of Cabin Fever, when I noticed THREE police officers arresting a man right outside Reds.

It was hard to miss them, with their sirens blazing, guns drawn and LOUD commands for the man to do this and that before they cuffed him. While this was happening, a fourth officer pulled up. I stood there watching the action until my ice cream was gone.

Later, after enough time passed where I assumed the person arrested would have been booked, I consulted the Missoula County Inmate Information Portal to see who police were so worried about arresting.

I went through the entire jail roster (since I’ve screwed this up before) and am pretty sure the young man taken into custody yesterday evening was Dakota Eyster, a dude who was acting pretty threatening last October with a sword and knives.

Here’s an excerpt from the article about his arrest last October:

“Dakota Eyster was taken into custody by Missoula Police Department officers and jailed on two counts of assault with a weapon following multiple citizen reports of him brandishing a knife in the commercial retail area of North Reserve Street,” Arnold said. “Eyster brandished a knife at citizens, and also approached cars asking for money and different items. When denied the items, Eyster would threaten to kill or shoot the person and showed them the knife.”

Eyster approached the initial caller’s car and stood next to her front driver’s side tire. She said Eyster was staring at her with a “sword” in his left hand and a knife in his right hand. Eyster began walking circles around the female’s car while she was in it. Another female exited a business into the parking lot and Eyster walked straight towards her. The first female watched as Eyster got within three feet of the other female. However, he passed by, holding the knife in his right hand behind his back.

Thank you, staffing-challenged Missoula PD, for taking this man back into custody if he was violating the terms of his release. That’s the kind of publicly-funded action no private security firm can provide.

Have a safe and fun weekend everyone!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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