City Hall holds a treasure trove of Billings Police history - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

City Hall holds a treasure trove of Billings Police history

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"There's a lot of stuff in here. It's almost too much to take in at one time," Detective Joel Watson with the Billings Police Department said.  

Hidden in the basement of City Hall is a treasure trove of history. 

Behind the doors of the Billings Police Historical Center, or "the museum" as it's more affectionately called, are artifacts outlining the history of Billings law enforcement. 

"We've got anything from weapons to drug paraphernalia to manuals to books to photographs," Watson said. "You know, we're still finding stuff as we dig through." 

Detective Watson along with other volunteers from the department are working their way through the room; organizing the items to give them a better life. 

"The plan is to eventually, once we inventory what we have, is to be able to display it and I would like to at some point work with the Western Heritage Center and maybe put a display on there," Watson said. 

When flipping through books dating back 100 years, photographs, and boxes of memorabilia, it's hard not to learn a thing or two about the advances in law enforcement. 

Detective Watson said he even got a history lesson from former officers while exploring the room's hidden treasures. 

"It makes you think back to when there was no cars and they just did all foot patrols and just what their jobs were then were drastically different than what it is now," Watson said. "Just different things that officers learned to do back in the day and how they tried to get through their every day compared to now is pretty amazing." 

Detective Watson said the department plans to continue adding to the museum, and documenting the advances in law enforcement over the years. 

He asks, if the public has any police related items to bring them in and help grow the museum.

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