There is a brotherhood within the nationwide law enforcement community, and when one member is struck down by senseless violence, all are affected.

That's the sense given by both of Missoula's law enforcement agencies, the Missoula City Police Department and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

Spokesman Travis Welsh relayed the feelings of Chief Mike Brady regarding the shooting deaths in the past week of Houston County Texas Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth, and Fox Lake, Illinois Police Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz.

"First, our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters out there who put their lives on the line every day," Welsh said. "Our prayers go out to their families and coworkers and the people who are going out tomorrow to do the same job."

Sheriff T.J. McDermott echoed that sentiment.

"Law enforcement is a brotherhood," Mcdermott said. "We are very close, and the deaths of these officers is horrible. Our prayers go out to the family of the Fox Lake Lieutenant and the Houston County Sheriff's Deputy. Unfortunately, it just shows that there are people out there who are willing to hurt or kill our law enforcement officers."

Both McDermott and Brady pointed out the various ways their departments are reaching out to the community to improve communications.

"One example," Walsh said, " was the River City Roots festival last weekend. Sure, it was work, but it was an opportunity for our police officers to show they are people, just like everyone else. We also have our Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, where members of the public can ride along with officers and better understand the work they do."

"There's a great deal of community support for local law enforcement," Sheriff McDermott said. "Just having that support and being able to work together with members of the community on issues related to crime, I think that's the key.We're lucky here, in that our deputies enjoy that support."

McDermott said such news reports point out the vulnerability that officers face every day.

"When something like this happens nationally, where a law enforcement officer loses his life," said Sheriff McDermott, "it just reminds us how dangerous it is to be a law enforcement officer. It's a good reminder for our deputies about what the risks are, to look out for each other and keep each other safe, and make sure that we each make it home at night to be with our families."