GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls Police Department is highlighting a partnership with the United States Marshals Service, which helps arrest violent criminals.
Captain John Schaffer said the GFPD has assisted the Montana Violent Offenders Task Force for some time.
“We have provided manpower when they needed support or equipment,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer said the GFPD has data showcasing violent crimes are on the rise in the Great Falls area.
In February, the GFPD decided to dedicate one officer to the Montana Violent Offenders Task Force.
The goal of the task force is fugitive apprehension.
“When we work a major case where we have a violent crime, we can work all the way up until arrest,” Schaffer said. “Then we can get it to the violent offender task force and then they can go and try to find that person for us.”
The U.S Marshall Service runs the task force and has officers based not only in Great Falls, but Billings and Missoula as well.
“The results have been astonishing since they have started. They are also working out of the Russell Country Drug Task Force. We are seeing incredible teamwork out of both those groups,” Schaffer said.
311 arrests have been made since February. They have also seized several types of guns, along with methamphetamine, heroin, and other items in the criminals’ possession.
“The more of that we can take in and keep from circulating around the streets of Great Falls, the better our community is going to be,” Schaffer said.
Schaffer added that they will continue to dedicate an officer to the Montana Violent Offenders Task Force.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News