Police Chief: ‘Way to go Billings’ on security during Trump visit

Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-10 17:08:19-04

BILLINGS – It could be another week before the Billings Police Department learns just how much a visit from President Donald Trump is going to cost.

But in the immediate aftermath, Chief Rich St. John thinks the event went off without a hitch.

St. John gave kudos to Billings residents and his officers during a press conference Friday for an event he said was a security success.

“Way to go Billings,” said St. John.

He said the cooperation and coordination between the public and his agency were paramount.

He said more than 100 Billings police officers were on hand to help navigate the president’s motorcade through the city as well as patrol closed roads overnight.

“Everyone was very polite. Everybody was very understanding, and for those of us that were tasked with providing securities, that is very very much appreciated,” he said.

However, he’s anticipating a higher bill for the president’s visit than what it cost to host Vice President Mike Pence in July.

St. John continues to say he is still trying to secure reimbursement for the Pence visit, which cost local taxpayers $20,000 in officer overtime.

St. John anticipates the visit from Trump to be even more significant because of the overnight stay. A two block radius around the Double Tree Hotel was cordoned off for roughly 20 hours with officers on standby the entire time.

Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News