Your Private Security Tax Dollars HARD AT WORK With Rogers International!

by Travis Mateer

A few Fridays ago I was in the old neighborhood where I used to work and decided to show someone the dystopia it had become. Boy, was THAT a mistake.

I made a very minimal reference about what happened when I decided to drive down Cedar Street, on the north side of the Poverello Center where I used to work, in this post about gaslighting the use of motor vehicles, but now I feel the need to get into this incident a little more in depth for a few reasons.

The first reason is my request to the staff member working the front desk that night, to have the shelter director call me the following week, was never followed up on.

The second reason is this recent story about a dude breaking windows out at the YWCA.

The common denominator in my experience, and the story KGVO reported on, is the curious role of Rogers International in allegedly providing “security” around the Poverello Center, a homeless shelter that has literally had to BEG with BONUSES to get staff to work there.

I made my way down Cedar Street very slowly because some of the people hanging around didn’t seem very interested in moving OUT of the street. One particular group of three individuals really didn’t move, and when I passed them, a guy hit my car with his hand, then pretended that I hit him with my vehicle.

I continued driving and decided to call the Poverello Center instead of 911, and that led me to a direct call with a paid staff member of Rogers International (RI). The guy I spoke with had less than adequate communication skills for someone expected to maintain order. This became even more apparent when the following incident happened a few weeks later:

On July 30, 2022, around 9:10 pm, Missoula Police Department officers were dispatched to a criminal mischief in progress at the YWCA building on Broadway. Dispatch advised that 28-year-old Cameron Billedeaux, a well-known male to law enforcement who frequents the area, was seen breaking windows of the building with his skateboard.

For a better look at the area this occurred, here’s my on-the-ground report:

Before picking up the story at my favorite part, I want to point out that the breaking of windows is a bit ironic considering what I’ve written about regarding the Broken Windows Theory of policing.

Of course, we’re not talking about REAL police in these lack-of-security incidents, we’re talking RI, and what are they going to do when a dude is busting out windows? (emphasis mine):

An officer then learned that a security guard was the one who witnessed Billedeaux breaking windows and then leaving the area on his skateboard. The security guard told the officer he observed Billedeaux break all of the windows, which totaled seven double pane windows.  

Billedeaux admitted to an officer that he knowingly destroyed the windows and stated he thought he could because he saw another person do it previously who wasn’t arrested.

It’s hard to know what to say about all this. Why should taxpayers be paying for this private security contract if this the result?

I’m having A LOT of conversations with people around this topic because there’s a special window of opportunity to educate people right now before more money is poured into failed ideas.

I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks for reading!

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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