Good news to come for Billings Police next year - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Good news to come for Billings Police next year

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The Billings Police Chief says he's expecting calls for service to increase next year. Chief Rich St. John says this year, they received about 80,000 calls and are expecting 10,000  more in 2017.

To get through the holiday season, on the Billings Police Department's Christmas list is the hope for no serious incidents, violent situations or homicides to take place.     

Billings is a community of 111,000 people with not nearly enough police officers. But there is some good news.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says they could always use more help.

"We're a big city, we have big city issues and our officers are very busy," he said.

Chief St. John says full staff for the department is 148. He says they are not currently at that number but will be soon.

"Seven graduate from the academy tomorrow. We'll hire another six the next week, after that so in terms of getting our numbers up where they need to be, we're in great shape on that one," St. John said. 

Even with being short handed in the biggest city in the Treasure State, Chief St. John says officers respond within minutes after getting a call.

"We are between 3 and 5 minutes on 911 calls response which is very good given the size of our town and the number of officers we have, so we are very responsive and the officers do a great job even if every body's busy," he said.

The police department will be fully staffed no later than late winter, early spring of next year. St. John also assures KULR-8, the department currently is not in a financial crisis.

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