On Thursday, October 15 I did a ride-along in a Great Falls Police Department patrol car with Master Police Officer Pat Brinkman.
It was a real eye-opener for me to witness first-hand what our local law-enforcement officers deal with, even though I only caught a brief glimpse of what they do and see every single day, day in and day out.
In the course of my ride-along I saw how our police officers deal with white, black, and brown folks here in Great Falls, and how they maintained a level of courtesy, professionalism, awareness, and genuine human empathy in every interaction.
Also that afternoon I personally witnessed our police officers and other first responders deal with two attempted suicides. Right here in Great Falls. Two. In a span of about four hours.
In the first incident the person’s life was quite literally saved by two GFPD officers working in tandem and using their training to prevent a life from being forfeited.
In the second case I saw up close and personal how our police and other first responders worked to get an almost-successful suicide to the emergency room just in time. Thanks to Great Falls Fire Rescue, Great Falls Emergency Services and GFPD.
We can be proud of our Great Falls Police Department. Very proud, and very confident in their abilities to serve and protect ALL of our citizens.
Thanks to Captain John Schaffer for allowing me to ride along and to MPO Brinkman for showing me the ropes and giving me a fresh perspective.
As long as I am a Great Falls City Commissioner I will do everything I can to make sure that we’re not going down the road of “defunding” or “reimagining” our amazing GFPD.