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Commissioner discusses new Public Safety Advisory Committee

Great Falls Police and Fire
Posted at 2:31 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 16:31:43-04

GREAT FALLS — The city of Great Falls has been trying to gain more funding for public safety with little to no success. After a landslide defeat in the November election to pass a mill levy, City Commissioners have come together to create a Public Safety Advisory Committee that will work closer with the people of Great Falls to figure out how to keep the people safe.

“We learn from failure immediately,” said Joe McKenney, Great Falls City Commissioner, “So, fail fast. Learn from it. Take another bite at the apple.”

The rejection of the mill levy did not change the need for increased public safety in the city. Now, the city is trying to put together a Public Safety Advisory Committee.

“Rather than just going back to the drawing board on our own as a city council, we thought we'd start in a different manner from the bottom up,” McKenney said, “Bring the citizens in and have them advise us to what our next step may be.”

In order to better listen to the city’s citizens, the board consists of ten volunteer members. Two are City Council members, two are Neighborhood Council members, two are state legislatures, and four are community activists, with two who leaned toward and two who leaned away from the original levy.

“[The levy] was a top-down decision. This time it's going to be bottom up,” McKenney said, “So we have the details of what our challenges are this time. We're going to ask the community what's the best way to address these challenges.”

The Advisory Committee was discussed at a City Council work session in mid-March, and while nothing is official yet, Commissioner McKenney hopes to get the ball rolling and have six to eight meetings of the Committee completed by Labor Day.

“The members of the city council have been discussing it for a while. We do have volunteers for the committee at our next council meeting,” McKenney said, “There will be a resolution and will probably be official at that time.”

Commissioner McKenney says the best way to reach out with questions would be to call his phone at (406) 868 2980 or email McKenney himself at He also urges citizens to attend the city commission meetings and future advisory committee meetings to share their thoughts.