NewsCrime & Courts


Bozeman Police, HRDC working in tandem to keep Warming Center services safe for those who need them

"We have contact with the HRDC and the Warming Center on almost a daily basis," says Bozeman Police Patrol Captain Joe Swanson.
Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 11:26:12-04

BOZEMAN — Off of Wheat Drive in Bozeman, where the HRDC’s Warming Center and numerous campers sit, local businesses and police have been feeling the heat after an increase in arrests.

"There’s a large amount of people who come down there for services every day and certainly these services aren’t offered anywhere else in Bozeman," says Bozeman Police Patrol Captain Joe Swanson. "So, we know, and we expect, we’re going to see more calls for services because of that fact."

On Monday night, three men were arrested in a camper outside the Warming Center. One man was on a probation violation and failed to register as a violent offender, and the two others were brought in on drug possession charges.

Swanson says arrests like this are becoming more frequent: "Currently we’re seeing a lot of possession down there, drug possession in particular. Methamphetamine, fentanyl. There’s kind of a wide variety we’re running into."

I spoke with businesses in the area who say they’re having problems. One restaurant tells me they no longer allow free food or service due to defecation complaints, nudity, and harassment.


Swanson says BPD is being more proactive in its approach.

"Our officers are doing a number of patrol checks a day. And a patrol check is where an officer is just driving through that area without being dispatched to a call, just to be sure that there’s no issues that need to be looked into," he explains.

Swanson also says detectives within the department are keeping track of offender registries to ensure violators follow all reporting guidelines.

"So, we’ve taken a much more proactive response in going through our registry and actively checking on folks," he says.

Bozeman police have worked with the Warming Center to identify people who may pose a risk to the community, ensuring those who need its services can safely receive them.

"We have contact with the HRDC and the Warming Center on almost a daily basis. We are trying to work through with them, every month, of ways we can better support each other, working through problematic issues that are taking more attention away from folks who need services more than others," says Swanson.