Billings Police Chief Shares Positive News on Wounded Officer
*Updated: As KTVQ-TV reported Monday night, the officer has now been identified:
St. John said that Mike Yarina was the officer shot. Yarina has been on the police force for 13 years and was struck by a bullet around 10:45 that morning
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John shared some positive news Monday morning about the officer who was shot Saturday morning during a standoff in Billings.
Chief St. John says the family is still being notified, so the officer's name is not yet being made public. However, the chief said the support from the public is greatly appreciated.
Chief St. John: Support has just been amazing. Very appreciative of that. He is in stable condition, doing well, on the way to recovery. We're not releasing the name quite yet, we still have family that that's coming in and needs to be notified and briefed. So along with that obviously we have other officers that were involved that we need to name as well, so probably no later than at the end of the day Wednesday. But the officer is recovering and appreciate all the support.
The chief also addressed the crime concerns in the city:
Chief St. John: What I would say to to your listeners here in Billings is that there's a very, very small population that's causing the problems in general. We still live in a wonderful, wonderful, safe community. Police department's working really hard at stuff. Although you wouldn't know it from looking at the headlines, when we look at our 2022 numbers- which I'm about ready to roll out here in a week or so- we were able to decrease or flatten our violent crime numbers or property crimes last year. So the additional resources and the strategies we have in place have been effective. Unfortunately, we have these acute situations that can continue to pop up and dominate the news.
Full audio of Monday's call with Chief St. John:
Click here for The Billings Gazette video from Monday's press conference with more details on Saturday's standoff.
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