The annual crime report was released by the BPD and City of Billings Wednesday revealing a marked decrease in both aggravated assaults and non-aggravated in 2022 and a drop in gun offenses as well. This is amazing and encouraging news considering the statewide increase of fentanyl seizures .
The Billings Police Department annual crime report shows a significant drop in assault crimes.
What is significant in this report is the fact that drug offenses fell in Billings for the fourth year straight.
In fact, the report states there were 954 drug crimes in Billings in 2022 which is the lowest in the past ten years.
The City and BPD have made spending your taxpayer dollars appropriately and making it a priority, according to the report.
“The Public Safety Mill Levy provided $2,450,000 to increase Billings Police Department staff.
The funding provides for the following employees as well as the equipment and training required to prepare them to serve the City of Billings.
• 12 sworn officers
• 7 Community Services Officers
• 5 Identifications and Evidence Staff
• 1.5 Support Services clerical staff
BPD took a methodical approach to adding personnel and was staffed at 162 of 167 authorized sworn officers and 30 of 39.5 civilian staff.
Our employees are given great public trust and are carefully selected and put through background in- vestigations.
Adding staff requires not only preparing new employees to work, but making sure they have work space — be that in a patrol vehicle or in an office. There are also practical necessities that must be ad- dressed, ranging from uniforms to computers with required software.
Creating the Community Services Officer program also required writing policies, creating a training pro- gram and re-assigning some work responsibilities within the department,” according to the annual report.
Billings had 12 homicide in 2022. However, AG Knudsen also released numbers on the percentage of fentanyl seizures statewide showing an 11,000% increase. The murder rate compared to proven drug trafficking in addition to lower drug and assault cases in Billings is a victory for the BPD.