Opinions, Travel

With no Mayor or Cops in Big Sky, Montana, is it utopia?

Loading: No crime.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Sep 12, 2022

If it weren’t for my friend’s wedding this summer, I never would have gone to Montana. You might think that is rude, but I had no desire. However, having spent 4 days there, I am really impressed with Big Sky.


The area, just an hour outside of Bozeman, has very few people living in it, but the people you meet are extremely sincere and helpful. They enjoy the outdoors there, as most people under 25 take up jobs as tour guides for hikes or river boat rafting. They really love their town and passionately speak about the rolling planes, rocks, and water any chance they get. It’s very different from my life in New York City.


But among that, the biggest difference was the lack of authority—a true breath of fresh air. Big Sky, Montana does not have a mayor, and just one sheriff in town. They are known as the last incorporated town in Montana, and after seeing how little crime they had, I can see why. Could Montana be onto something? I’ve never been anywhere or heard of a single town that doesn’t have a mayor or a police station. In New York, that would be impossible with all the stuff that happens here. But maybe that’s where Big Sky gets it right.


Maybe the presence of authority has something to do with the crime rate, and excuse my French, bullshit laws. After all, history continues to show us that Black and minority lives aren’t valued by social justice courts, cops, or citizens. Maybe by truly being a place for the people, the people are allowed to rule and live in harmony.


It seems to work for Big Sky, but would it work anywhere else? I guess trial and error would tell, but it almost seems too risky to do it in towns that previously had a government in place. To take it away seems like pulling the rug out from society. I also fear that no one would be reprimanded for wrongdoings.


On the other hand, maybe that’s exactly what we need. All I know is that my time in Big Sky was the most peaceful I felt in all of 2022. Sure, the beautiful scenery had something to do with it, but also, the people were just so joyous and seemed to fully benefit from no authority. Personally, I think it’s the way to be and I look forward to visiting again.


Just one look at the current news will tell you all you need to know about the current state of police in the world. But is muting yourself the best tactic for dealing with it?


Photo via Montana Business and Tourism