Do you stay away from certain parts of our beautiful city?

It seems like with shootings that we've had lately, a stabbing over the weekend, and assorted vehicle thefts, I feel less safe about our town than I used to.

I don't have the actual statistics on the varieties of drugs and the quantities that are coming into town, but I've heard whispers from some folks, who I believe, that it's gotten worse here.

A couple of years ago, I began walking around the area where I live, just to get some exercise. I'm in a rural area, so our roads have ditches on either side of them. Those ditches contained an awful lot of hard liquor bottles. So, some people must be drinking and driving and checking out the scenery out my way.

I remember when I was a kid and we would pick up the beer cans in those ditches and take them to the recycling center for cash. But I'm not seeing very many beer cans these days.

When you go to bed as early as I do, you never really end up in bad neighborhoods.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think that Billings is headed anywhere in a handbasket. I'm just seeing more criminal activity.

Working downtown, we get asked for money quite often. Even though it isn't fair, I profile people before they can even get their first word out. Heck, I may have profiled you one day in traffic when you were driving in a manner that didn't suit my high standards for operating a motor vehicle.

Being vigilant is key. Be safe.

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