When we asked our membership last June about policy priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session, Public Safety was in the top 3. It was not a surprise. Anecdotally we hear from members tired of reading about another murder, wondering when we’ll get the meth epidemic under control, and avoiding downtown because of the transients. Unfortunately those concerns aren’t overblown.
Violent crime in Billings increased 115% in the last ten years. A report
put together in 2019 for the Substance Abuse Connect (SAC) group, a partnership of providers, law enforcement, and businesses with the goal of addressing addiction issues in Yellowstone County, highlights some other sobering statistics: