Four new Billings police officers and a new deputy with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office were sworn into their new jobs on Tuesday.
At a City Hall ceremony, Judge Sheila Kolar administered the oath for new officers Amanda McKnight, Michael Stevens, Michael Johnson and Tyler Kammerzell.
All four of the new officers were hired to replace officers who recently retired or resigned, said Lt. Kevin Iffland. The new officers will soon head off to the Montana Law Enforcement Academy to begin 12 weeks of training.
Across the street at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, Sheriff Mike Linder introduced the agency’s newest deputy, Cactus Anderson, during a regular meeting of the county commission. Anderson will also be attending the Law Enforcement Academy in Helena.
Linder said Anderson has spent the last two years as a reserve deputy in Stillwater County. He also worked for nine years as an emergency medical technician and paramedic.
Anderson was hired to replace a deputy who recently retired after more than 19 years, Linder said. The department has 52 sworn deputies.
The four new city police hires join a department with 143 sworn officers. Iffland said there are currently two vacancies for officers that the department is working to fill.
At 23, Kammerzell is the youngest of the new city officers. He graduated from MSUB in April with a double major in criminal justice and sociology.
Kammerzell said that as a teenager he was the victim of an armed robbery in Billings while working at a movie theater. He said he was inspired to seek a career in law enforcement after watching the officers in that case.
McKnight, 25, is from Great Falls, where during high school she joined the Air National Guard. She remains in the Guard where she has worked as a security officer, combat arms instructor and recruiter.
A former store manager, Johnson, 39, is originally from Boise, where several family members also had an interest in law enforcement. He said the chance to provide a community service attracted him to his new job.
Stevens, 42, said he spent 20 years working as a contractor before fulfilling a “longtime interest” to work in law enforcement.