I have several things I'm concerned about today.

According to the article in the Billings Gazette this morning, our city council thinks that we need a citizen's police advisory board. This board is to be made up of citizens who are "stakeholders" in town, along with representatives from the mental health and addiction recovery communities. The apparent goal is to hire more female officers and more from the Native American communities.

I disagree. We should always hire the most qualified applicant, regardless of race or sex. If I'm hiring officers whose job will be, at times, my safety, I want the most qualified candidate.

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Let's hire the candidate who went to the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and got the best grades in Human Behavior; Social Interaction, Patrol Operations (which includes police vehicle operations), Investigations, Firearm Instruction, Appropriate use of force, and all the things that law enforcement officers deal with every day.

The Gazette article said that the upcoming safety levy that we'll be voting on if passed, will provide 28 new officers and staff members for the Billings Police Department. I have heard through the grapevine that most of those won't be patrol officers, but don't know if that's true.

It would also provide 10 additional firefighters. I'm for more cops and firemen. I'm just not for putting this cost on property owners again.

The tax is a very unfair way to pay for things. People who don't pay property taxes get to vote on the taxes of those who do.

Everybody should help pay for these things.

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