Crime and Safety Efforts
Creating a safe community for residents to thrive is one of the main goals of NeighborWorks Community Building initiative. Through resident leadership programs, the Downtown Safety Alliance and other partnerships NeighborWorks Great Falls has been able to create and facilitate many programs to promote safety and crime reduction.
Since our founding in 1980, NeighborWorks Great Falls has worked with the City on code enforcement. In the 1980’s, we had the “Eyesore Committee” and then later the “Problem Properties Committee.” We provided funding for the first Code Enforcement Officer in the City and wrote a guide for neighbors to know whom to call when they had a problem with code enforcement and quality of life issues. More recently, the City Planning Department took over the task of updating the guide, because of the updated laws, standards, and contact information. For the latest version of the Neighborhood Guide, click here.
Cascade County Watch is made up of two programs: Neighborhood and Business Watch; it brings together citizens from throughout Cascade County to address neighborhood crime at the block level – in residential and business areas. Cascade County Watch offers a variety of training programs for those interested in setting up a Watch, as well as more in-depth classes for those that have an existing Watch. Click here for more information on both Neighborhood and Business Watch.
Coins for a Cause
Responding to panhandlers can be a tricky situation. The Downtown Safety Alliance's Coins for a Cause program addresses panhandling downtown at the root level by giving to more long term homelessness solutions. Giving panhandlers spare change is a short-term remedy that perpetuates the cycle of poverty in our community; it neither creates nor facilitates long-term solutions. The Downtown Safety Alliance, including NeighborWorks Great Falls, the Great Falls Police Department, the Business Improvement District, Downtown Great Falls Association, Speaking Socially and others, are sponsoring the program, Coins for a Cause, as an alternative to panhandling. Donations collected from containers set up in various downtown businesses will be given to local organizations that provide direct services and resources to people in need. For more information and a list of box locations, click here.
Operation Medicine Cabinet
Prescription drug abuse remains the number one drug problem in Cascade County, and as such, brings unwanted crime to our neighborhoods. To address this issue, NeighborWorks Great Falls 2010 Community Leadership team formed Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana. Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana brings together local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and community groups to address Cascade County’s most serious drug problem: Abuse of prescription drugs. In addition, the program diverts over one ton (2000 pounds) of expired and/or unwanted prescription drugs from the landfill and our water supply! The Montana Highway Patrol has a through the wall drop box where citizens can drop off their unwanted or expired prescription drugs 24/7, no questions asked. The Drop Box is located behind Dante's at the Montana Highway Patrol Office:812 - 14th Street North Great Falls, MT 59401 406-453-1121.
For more information please visit the Department of Justice Website by clicking here.