KALISPELL - The Kalispell Police Department is asking the community for help in finding the perpetrators behind a string of recent anti-Semitic vandalism.
Police are investigating anti-Semitic Vandalism on the historic silos near downtown and on a billboard at Silverbrook Estates off Highway 93. Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman says it’s not known at this time if the incidents are related or separate acts of hate.
“This is where we’re asking for help from our community. We have only so many eyes out in the field. Sometimes areas are not covered under camera. If someone has a camera that covers an area or has some eye witness information we would ask you to please come forward with that,” said Overman.
He said police have found anti-Semitic stickers recently on downtown signs and doors and private buildings vandalized with hate messages. Overman added that law enforcement is working hard to catch the perpetrators and the crimes could lead to significant jail time.
“We don’t want this to occur in our community. We don’t want this to be the message about what Kalispell stands for. If we can get there and intervene and maybe change the trajectory somewhere, we would love to do that,” said Overman
Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley community organizer Cherilyn DeVries says the nonprofit is asking community residents to speak up if they see anti-Semitic messages, adding that ignoring hate speech doesn’t help eliminate the problem.
“A lot of people want to believe oh it’s just vandalism, if you just ignore it, it will go away. No it doesn’t. This kind of stuff needs sunlight on it, it needs to be exposed for the hateful damaging rhetoric that it is,” said DeVries.
Overman asked anyone with information regarding anti-Semitic vandalism to contact the Kalispell Police Department at (406) 758-7780.