BILLINGS - Ed Hostettler has logged thousands of volunteer hours for the Billings Police Department over the years.
Every Wednesday, the 85-year-old hits the streets with BPD’s Volunteer Patrol. It’s something he has been doing for the past 17 years, helping tackle something the city gets hundreds of complaints about each month.
“Tagging cars, cleaning up the city, getting junked cars off the city streets, and enforcing the parking. I like to see people have a handicapped parking spot when they need it,” says Hostettler.
Ed and his partner, Sharon Nolte, have clipboards stacked with complaints that they are checking out.
“If they don’t move it, it will get towed next week,” he says after spraying orange paint around the tires of one abandoned car.
Nolte says she always looks forward to working with Ed, although she admits not everyone is happy to see them pulling up.
“We get yelled at and we get thanked for the job we do. Some people are not so friendly about it, but we just have fun with it,” Nolte says.
They are two of more than two dozen volunteers who help the Billings Police Department, allowing officers to focus on more important tasks.
“It’s very low priority and that makes it very easy for them to not have to be concerned about this kind of a call,” says Hostettler.
Hostettler has logged more than 6,100 volunteer hours for BPD.
“You start thinking about the amount of money that he has saved the city that we haven’t had to send police officers out on stuff. Aside from that, he is just a great individual, a great sense of humor. He shows up for work every day and shows that generation's work ethic,” says Billings Police Chief Rich St. John.
Still going strong and still making a difference.
“He is a super, super senior,” says Sharon Nolte.
Hostettler added, “We have so much fun out there and we do good things for the city."
He also spends time volunteering at the polls as an election judge.