Record Felonies in 2013 in Yellowstone County - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Record Felonies in 2013 in Yellowstone County

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BILLINGS -

"We had the most violent, busiest summer, in my time here at the police department," said Billings Police Chief, Rich St. John.

A startling statement that may be directly related to the fact, Billings is booming and felony cases will only continue to climb.

"It has come close, but never got over that number. If you look at the arraignments which is the initial stages of felony prosecution, between now and the end of the year, we will continue to see that number increase," said Yellowstone County District Attorney, Scott Twito.

St. John says with a growing population, an increase in crime will come. But he adds, the good guys are still winning the fight.

"If they're not having record numbers at the county attorney, then we're not doing the work on the front end. So it's a double edged sword that we have those things going on, but it's good that we're able to solve those crimes and bring those people to justice."

A good portion of the felony offenses, though across the board, have mainly consisted of a substance that Montana has been fighting for years.

"What we are seeing, is an increase in offenses related to methamphetamines. Whether it's possession of the drug itself or those related crimes, or crimes like driving under the influence of the drug," said Twito.

"You have very dedicated professionals, in all the agencies, local, state and federal, that work very hard to keep it a safe community," said St. John.

The Chief also says voters must pass a safety levy to add more officers to the force.

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