As of this afternoon I have received 14 robo-emails addressed to each of us Great Falls City Commissioners ‘demanding’ that we ‘defund’ the Great Falls Police Department. I also got a call from a Kalispell city commissioner this morning informing me that they have been receiving the same emails.
I’ve been asked to publish the names of the senders of these emails, and I could do that since they are all subject to a public information request and available for anyone to see at any time.
But actually there’s not much sense in publishing the names because the email is a form email and most of the names and emails are not local or wouldn’t have any relevance to Great Falls.
Here’s a breakdown of the 14 emails:
Nine have various names with no indication as to where they are from or with an out-of-state return email indicator – for example vccs.edu, which is from Virginia I believe.
One is from Philipsburg MT and one from Billings MT.
Three say they are Great Falls residents. Checking several online resources for the names given, only one of them appears in a search and matches as a Great Falls resident, but it appears to be the persons parents who currently live here. The emailer’s age is given as “in 20’s” and an address listed online as being in Missoula.
So out of 14 robo-mails so far only one of them appears to actually be a possible current Great Falls resident.
If that person, or anyone else, would like to contact me and discuss the issue of defunding the Great Falls Police Department, I will be available to do so any time. But there are three things I would ask beforehand:
- You are currently a taxpaying resident of Great Falls.
- You use your real name and are willing to do so publicly without ‘demanding’ things.
- You discuss the issue using a local context and data, in the full light of objective scrutiny and without using a mass form letter containing outrageous, false, ignorant accusations against our local law enforcement.
I’m not sure why some folks think that George Floyd’s murder by a bad cop in Minneapolis means that we need to ‘defund’ the Great Falls Police Department but I’m willing to discuss it honestly and openly, not with form letters, baseless accusations against our law enforcement community in Great Falls, and anonymous demands.
By the way, one of the emailers forgot to fill in the form data on their little robo-email and I’m including a screenshot here. If the group behind this campaign to ‘defund’ police would let us know who they are, or if anyone else knows and could reveal their identity, it would be helpful.