Recently, the City of Billings has lived though some horrific and tragic criminal initiated events. The Billings Police Department and local enforcement agencies responded and conducted themselves professionally, expeditiously and with precise efficiency, leading to the conclusion of no officer or civilian injuries.

Unfortunately, it is these high-profile events that catapults law enforcement to the forefront of everyday mundane existence. We forget to acknowledge that law enforcement risks their lives every minute of duty time. Every vehicle stop, domestic dispute or casual contact can effect an officer's life forever. I shudder to think what life would be like without these dedicated, incredibly brave men and women.

Chief St. John nailed it when he clearly stated that it is those officers involved in a critical incident who are in fact the victims, not the perpetrator. I might suggest that it is all of us who are victims of these senseless, selfish acts of violence.

I, for one, am very proud and honored to have the officers and support personnel of the Billings Police Department serving our community. Take time to thank an officer and their support personnel for their dedication and commitment. Your kind words mean more than you will ever know. Trust me, sometimes those kind words are embedded in an officer's memory forever.

Tony Barone