Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

New police department approved in southeast Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A proposal to create a police department in southeast Montana was approved amid crime prevention efforts, city officials said.

Hardin City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to form a city police department housed in a building neighboring city hall, the Billings Gazette reported. The building currently houses the city court and animal control.

The city currently pays the sheriff’s office $490,000 to provide law enforcement, and those funds would be appropriated to the newly proposed police department, which is estimated to cost $520,000 the first year and $540,000 the second year, Mayor Joe Purcell said.

Purcell expects to put together a police commission comprised of three volunteers to choose the first police chief.

There should be at least two police officers on duty at a time, mentioning concerns about petty crime and drug-related issues in the town, city council member Harry Kautzman said.

Hardin previously attempted to form a police department in 2009 with a group called the American Police Force, which turned out to be run by a convicted felon and con man.

City officials ensured checks and balances this year with the commission and a council-set spending limit.

Karen Molina, the only council member who voted against the police force, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The Big Horn County sheriff’s office did not return a call for comment. It is unclear what impact the new force will have on the sheriff’s office.

People are also reading...

Attorney General Jackley Announces 11 Inmates Charged in State Penitentiary Disturbances.

Weather

loader-image
Rapid City, US
11:58 am, April 23, 2024
temperature icon 56°F
clear sky
Humidity 35 %
Pressure 1019 mb
Wind 19 mph
Wind Gust: 25 mph
Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise: 5:55 am
Sunset: 7:46 pm
Abigail Tweedy

Market News

Share via
Copy link