Perhaps the fastest growing Facebook group in the Mid-Columbia in years, Defend The Tri has gone from around 5-600 members just a couple of days ago, to over 5,000. And it's growing literally by the minute.

The mission statement is on the page:

"The purpose of this group is to raise awareness of local businesses that might need help protecting themselves and their business. Invite those willing to help."

The momentum for creating the group came from a handful of citizens who, like everyone else, saw what was being done in Seattle, Bellevue and other cities.  Not peaceful protesters or marchers who were calling attention to a brutal incident (Floyd), not those who defend First Amendment rights to reasonable expression; but anarchists were looting, burning, smashing and even hurting people. These people, like many, didn't want to just stand by and watch while anarchists create chaos.

Similar efforts have, and are being done, in Coeur D' Alene, the small town of Snohomish, WA and other cities.

Most of Defend The Tri are not necessarily business owners, but just regular citizens who want to help in any way they can, acting as a deterrent to prevent businesses of any type from being 'hit.' Men, women, young and old.

We've learned that the members are well aware that law enforcement are the ones who deal directly with criminals or vandals; and that sometimes their role may be very limited. Other times, prominent.  The idea is, Deterrence. However they are needed, they want to help.

We know for a fact that several suspicious incidents Monday night were spotted by members of the group, and they notified Police in the appropriate jurisdiction.

It's a fact that crime occurs far less often when there are people present at a location, especially at night.  The mere presence of multiple persons can often cause a rioter, looter, vandal or other criminal to look elsewhere.

They're not seeking to be "deputized" or assume the role of law enforcement, but, they also have said they cannot just stand by and watch others create chaos, violate lives by damaging or destroying businesses.

So far, the impact of these groups seems to show that Deterrence works. Would-be rioters were turned away without incident in Snohomish, and Idaho. In fact little if no contact was ever made between the agitators and the citizens.

It seems whether it's peaceful protesters, or citizens who want to help like this, or those who've comes out by the thousands to help cleanup in cities where riots have occurred (without being asked),  citizens are taking on the role of responsibility and doing whatever they can to help each other.

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