MetraPark, Billings police gearing up for Trump visit

Posted at 8:20 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 22:21:01-04

BILLINGS – It will be all hands on deck for the Billings Police Department Thursday for President Trump’s rally at MetraPark, according to Chief Rich St. John.

While many resources will be focused on the president’s visit, the department still has to staff for normal day to-day business in the city, St. John said.

“First and foremost, we want to have an excellent visit. We want to make sure that everybody is safe, not only the protectee but the public,” said St. John. “We anticipate some protesters so we want to make sure that that is handled appropriately, that they have their right to free speech and expression, yet we want to make sure that we don’t infringe on anybody else’s rights. It will be a big task for the police department and our partners, but we are looking forward to it.”

Chief St. John said one of the biggest hits the department will take is the overtime costs.

For instance, St. John said, Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Billings on July cost the department $20,000 in overtime.

Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News

BILLINGS – Officials at MetraPark announced Tuesday parking restrictions for President Trump’s upcoming rally in Billings.

  • The ADA lot in front of Rimrock Auto Arena will be closed.
  • A portion of the Upper Parking lot of the arena will be closed.
  • A portion of the Pavilion lot nearest the arena will be closed. The only access for the Pavilion lot is through the Fourth Avenue entrance.
  • The Carnival lot will be open. The only access to the Carnival lot is through the Fourth Avenue entrance.

These restrictions were put in place to accommodate security protocols for the president’s visit.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Thursday, and Trump is expected to start his speech at 7 p.m. MetraPark officials estimate 10,000 people will attend.

Disabled parking will be in the Premium Parking lot on the north side of Bench Boulevard, and disabled visitors will not be charged for parking there.

Guests who have paid an annual premium parking fee will be allowed in the Premium lot.

Some concessions will be available in the arena, and water and portable toilets will be available outside.