The responsibility of government isn’t to solve all of our problems but rather to ensure our safety in the free exercise of our individual God-given, natural rights.
Now think about that in light of our local crime problem.
The primary job of Great Falls law-enforcement and our local criminal justice system is to protect and serve the law abiding citizenry and to help ensure that we are safe in our persons and in our property, NOT to ‘help’ criminals or to solve all of the problems of addiction, mental health, poverty and homelessness.
We seem to have lost sight of that to some degree here in Great Falls and we need to refocus.
Our local law-enforcement and criminal justice folks work their tails off to serve this community and do the right thing.
Unfortunately, too many citizens are becoming frustrated and losing faith in local LE because of rampant crime in Great Falls.
We have to change that. Together.
Over the past several weeks I’ve been meeting with law-enforcement personnel at several levels, including Federal, to discuss appropriate membership and work scope for a proposed Great Falls Crime Task Force.
Last week I met with the three Division Captains from the Great Falls Police Department, Chief Bowen, and a couple of folks on the front line fighting serious crime and drug issues in our hometown.
And I can tell you that those who say that our crime problems in Great Falls aren’t that big of a deal because “it happens everywhere” are dead wrong. We have serious and unique challenges here and I think anyone who is paying attention understands that.
“It happens everywhere” is nothing more than a lame excuse which leads to doing nothing. We don’t live “everywhere” – we live in Great Falls/Cascade County.
Everyone I talk to, including local LE, says they’re sick and tired of doing nothing but talking around the issue of crime in Great Falls.
It’s time to get something done. And that starts with an honest community conversation and a focused effort designed to produce specific and targeted action.
We need to know what the solutions are, how much they cost, and their effectiveness in protecting the law abiding folks and their property in this community.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be meeting with community groups and with local justice system professionals to continue the prep work for the task force. It is my goal to have the task force in place by April to begin the process of producing a set of actionable recommendations to be presented to the community by late summer, early fall.