GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Police Department on Tuesday officially promoted several officers. The officers are indicated by their new ranks below. The GFPD shared the following information:
CAPTAIN Doug Otto – Badge 188: Otto has served with GFPD for almost 26 years and has held many roles, including patrol officer, detective with general case and special victims units (SVU), internet crimes against children detective, SVU detective sergeant, field training officer, sniper team lead for the high risk unit, firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor, Montana Physical Abilities Test proctor, and he is the final founding member to still serve on the honor guard. Otto received the Montana Association of Chiefs of Police Award of Merit (1996) and the GFPD Award of Merit (2014). He is a graduate of the 277th session of the FBI National Academy-Quantico. He most recently served as a Lieutenant in the Support Services Bureau; he now serves as head of the Bureau.
LIEUTENANT Tony Munkres – Badge 261: Munkres is a 15 year veteran of the GFPD and has spent over ten years involved with the GFPD’s field training program, most recently as the program manager. Munkres has served as the supervisor of the department’s Direct Enforcement Team since the team’s inception in 2017. Munkres exceptional service has been recognized with the DUI Task Force Officer of the Year (2012), the GFPD Distinguished Service Award (2013) and Medal of Valor (2014). Lieutenant Munkres continues to serve with the Patrol Services Bureau
SERGEANT Katie Cunningham – Badge 279: Cunningham has served as a patrol officer, a K-9 Officer, and as a detective with the special victims unit. She is a Montana Physical Abilities Test proctor, a firearms and defensive tactics instructor. Cunningham has been recognized with the GFPD Letter of Commendation (2015), Officer of the Year (2020), and the Award of Honorable Service (2020), an award that can only be achieved once in an officer’s career. She was recognized as one of KRTV Great Falls's 30 Under 30 and as a YWCA of Great Falls Salute to Women recipient. Cunningham serves as President of the The Dandelion Foundation and the Great Falls Police Protective Association. Sergeant Cunningham remains in the Patrol Services Bureau, as a squad supervisor.
SERGEANT Derek Mahlum – Badge 293: Mahlum joined GFPD in 2011, where he has excelled as a field training officer, tactical medical team lead with our high risk unit, a police vehicle operations instructor, firearms instructor, detective assigned to the general case unity, and as a detective assigned to the Cascade County Violent Crime Prevention Task Force. Mahlum has received numerous forms of recognition throughout his career, including the Havre Police Department Medal of Valor (2008), Montana Police Protective Association and Montana Association Chiefs of Police Medals of Honor (2009), honorable mention for National Association of Police Officers’ Top Cop, Special Olympics Montana Unsung Hero (2010), Montana Police Protective Association and Montana Association of Chiefs of Police Officer of the Year (2015), GFPD Letter of Commendation (2012, 2015, 2017) and Award of Valorous Unity (2019). Mahlum achieved certification as a Crime Scene Analyst, becoming one of only three in the State of Montana, and one of less than 500 in the United States. Sergeant Mahlum is serving as a field supervisor with the Patrol Services Bureau.
SERGEANT Josh Garner – Badge 259: Garner joined the GFPD in 2006 and has served the Great Falls community as a patrol officer, field training officer, honor guard member, peer support member, and as a school resource officer. Garner has coordinated the Great Falls Police Protective Association’s annual Guns & Hoses softball game for the past 10 years, helping raise thousands of dollars for Shop with a Cop. Garner was instrumental in bringing Emergency Response to Armed Intruder Training to GFPD and Great Falls Public Schools. Garner has been recognized with the GFPD Lifesaving Award three times (2009, 2018, 2021). Sergeant Garner is serving as a field supervisor with the Patrol Services Bureau.
The GFPD has 88 personnel, and five bureaus - Patrol Services, Investigative Services, Support Services, Communications Services, and Administrative Services.