Two new officers joined the Billings Police Department. And, they are just the beginning. Billings Police said they intend to swear in more officers by the end of the month.
Arron Larkin and Elizabeth Samson are the newest police officers. One is from Gallatin County and the other is from Houston. Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said they already have experience.
Chief St. John said, "It's very beneficial for us because what it does, it take twelve weeks off the training because they've already been to an academy. So, they just need to learn the BPD way and then they are off and running. So, we realize officers on the street at least twelve weeks early. So, that's truly a benefit."
Chief St. John said the department is facing some retirements and attrition.
Billings City Council is also working on the details of a possible public safety mill levy which could add additional officers to the police department.
Billings City Council is considering adding two additional police officers around the clock for each of the next three years, and then one new officer a year for each of the two years after that. That represents a reduction to the requests by law enforcement.
Billings City Council is considering a few options to fund the additional police officers, including charging a fee for emergency service calls.