Are We Sure There’s No Danger For The Great Falls Public?


I found it interesting that the day after I wrote a piece about transients camping out at our Great Falls Public Library and in our public parks I noticed this piece in the Billings Gazette:

“Billings police investigating downtown stabbing at library”

From the article:

“Billings Public Library Director Gavin Woltjer said he isn’t aware of any other stabbings at the library in the almost three years he has been in charge of the public facility. 

Woltjer said he had been told that the individuals involved were transients. He noted that the stabbing took place outside of library business hours and said that during all hours of operation there are security personnel at the library. Security patrols also take place on the grounds once the library is closed, Woltjer said. 

Woltjer credited library security for helping increase response time to the stabbing. 

“We do our part to ensure a safe and welcoming environment,” he said.”

Some of those commenting on the piece I wrote Tuesday and on my Facebook page assured me that there’s nothing to worry about here and that transients camping out in public places is “no big deal”.

Well, that kind of thinking is unwise in my opinion, especially if we want want our public areas to be safe, welcoming places for the citizens who pay for them.

Don’t we want our children to enjoy the wonders of our library and parks without having to worry about witnessing a stabbing, or worse?

An old saying come to mind: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.



Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

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One Reply to “Are We Sure There’s No Danger For The Great Falls Public?”

  1. Has anyone asked the transients why they chose to live at the library? I can see the water feature as a draw but otherwise, I can think of better places to hang out. (Doesn’t the library ask them to leave when they are inside too long?)


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