BILLINGS – Despite the controversy of the three Billings police officers disciplined for misconduct, law enforcement and emergency responders who stood out over the past year were honored Wednesday at the 60th Annual Crime Prevention Luncheon.
Chief Rich St. John directly addressed it in his speech, saying it shouldn’t take away from the accomplishments of many in the department.
"What has been reported is not consistent, nor is a reflection of the high standards and professional conduct exhibited daily by our officers," St. John said.
Held by the Downtown Billings Exchange Club, one from the Montana Highway Patrol, Billings Police Department, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and the Billings Fire Department received an award for their dedication.
It was a moment to honor those out in the field and helping behind the scenes.
"I think it’s great because they don’t always hear all of the thanks," said Erin Ferrell, Downtown Billings Exchange Club vice president. " We see things in the news, but a lot of time it focuses on the negative and not exactly what they’re doing here in our community. We love to do this. Part of the Exchange Club this is one of our focuses and it’s great to have them."
The four honored were: Officer Ryan Kramer of the Billings Police Department, Captain Sam Bofto who leads the Yellowstone County Dentention Facility, Trooper Trevor Chase of Montana Highway Patrol, and Anne Kindness, who has managed the 911 call center for more than 20 years.
A commemorative handgun is awarded to each one.