With the recent string of violent crimes recently in Billings and Yellowstone County, it’s important to clarify how and why law enforcement determines appropriate action.

There is a very clear set of laws police use to determine how any crime should be investigated and prosecuted if an arrest is necessary.

The state codes are known as the MCA codes and they are definitive on how law enforcement determines what is punishable by law and what actions should be taken to keep the themselves, the public and potential suspect safe.

All law enforcement officers are hired for the ultimate good; they are expected to protect and serve the citizens who are also taxpayers from any harm. That includes property, bodily injury and in some cases harm to themselves.

BPD Officer James Catlin says he brings the amount of force necessary in every different situation. He doesn’t use force unless absolutely necessary and required of him by law.

BPD Officer James Catlin explains the state codes police follow to charge citizens with crimes when appropriate.

Law enforcement only uses deadly force in situations where the suspect is a danger to him or herself and others around them, he said.

Law enforcement on 9-hour standoff in Billings.