City’s crime task force releases their recommendations, seeking public comment

The city’s Crime Task Force has released their draft recommendations and are seeking public comment in advance of their Sept. 13 meeting.

The task force identified four focus areas:

  • Resources for local criminal justice systems
  • Communication and education
  • Consequences
  • Partnerships/collaboration

The draft recommendations are available here, in full.

Comments should be submitted in writing to the city manager’s office at P.O. Box 5021, Great Falls, 59403 or by email at Comments should be submitted by noon Sept. 13 in order to be shared with the task force and the appropriate city staff for consideration, and to be included in the official record of the meeting.

City crime task force developing ideas for crime reduction recommendations

Among the draft recommendations, from the document, are the following:

  • “More police officers and support staff for GFPD:
    • estimated cost for eight patrol officers is $800,000 and would require funding outside of what the city is able to finance. Additional presence in the patrol bureau increases visibility, presence, detection crime response and investigation. The department has done everything possible to schedule existing
      personnel to handle call volume.
    • estimated cost for four sergeants is $550,000 and would require funding outside of what the city is able to finance. Patrol officers require field supervisors for the reduction of risk management, training, accountability and discipline.”

Crime task force continues learning about resources, challenges in city

If those items were approved, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter recommends:

  • bringing back the downtown officer – not the BRIC officer – but the downtown officer assigned to the Great Falls downtown business district. If this were to be approved, Slaughter also recommends the addition of an elementary school resource officer, which has been in discussion for several years. This would help balance caseloads, and establish relationships with youth at an earlier age.

State, federal and local prosecutors discuss trends, resources with city crime task force

Other recommendations include:

  • one crime analyst at $70,000 which falls within the city’s ability to finance. This position would provide needed technical capability/skill to assist with investigations using modern technology to gather, compile, and
    interpret data from crime reports to determine trends in a particular geographic area.
  • one task force officer – from the GFPD – assigned to Safe Trails Task Force at $96,000, which does fall within the city’s ability to finance. This position would work in partnership with the FBI and other federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to combat the growth of crime in Indian Country as Great Falls is in close proximity to two reservations.
  • Support the crisis response team with Alluvion. This partnership will assist GFPD with responding to the increasing frequency of mental health calls. The estimated cost of this program is $80,000 and would require funding outside of what the city is able to finance.