With all the reports we've been writing about in the month of March, including ones where we had to reach out and inquire about them as nothing had been released, I started looking around to find more information about the crime happening across Billings. What I discovered is simply shocking, and should have you concerned.

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Crime Mapped

Earlier today, we wrote about a man who robbed the Downtown Stockman Bank here in Billings. That article only came to light thanks to a listener on Cat Country 102.9's Facebook Page, commenting on another article I wrote over the weekend, informing me of the issue. After hearing about that, I called up Administrative Lieutenant Matt Lennick with BPD and asked about the issue. Matt informed me they experienced issues with Twitter on Thursday (which is 100% possible after the Chief Twit took over) and told me he would send a release soon.

Credit: Josh Rath, TSM / BPD
Credit: Josh Rath, TSM / BPD

As promised, just around an hour later, this landed in my email. And I was appreciative of it. However, this really got me thinking... how much crime is happening that we are not informed about?

Well... check out this website. CrimeMapping.com offers up a handy, easy-to-view dashboard of ALL crime in the Billings area (excluding Sex Offenders and Sexual Predators... for some reason unknown to me).

Turns out, over the last 7 DAYS ALONE, we've had a grand total (as of writing) of 585 events. Arson, Burglary, DUIs, Fraud, Motor Vehicle Theft, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Theft Vandalism, and more.

How many things have we been notified about from BPD from March 20th through 27th? 6 events. So there were 579 other events that occurred in Billings that were not deemed worthy of a public release. THAT is cause for concern.

I'm sure BPD is doing everything in its power to make sure we, the public, are informed. However, 6 public released (via Twitter) in one week seems... underwhelming.

Accuracy of Information

How do I know this website is getting accurate data? Well, remember the robbery I mentioned above? They had the robbery marked down on the map, including the exact time BPD provided in the press release.

Credit: CrimeMapping.com
Credit: CrimeMapping.com

I checked this website before reaching out to BPD, as I've come to trust it. Where does the information come from? Here's what CrimeMapping has to say:

CrimeMapping.com, a CentralSquare Technologies application, is a public resource of general information. All data contained in this site has been gathered through legitimate means and with the knowledge and approval of the law enforcement agencies listed in CrimeMapping.com. The original information provided by each law enforcement agency is exclusively owned by that agency. All data has been extracted, processed and presented through appropriate channels. No information contained in this site has been garnered by data scraping or other such inappropriate means.

Certainly vague, but to me, it sounds like Law Enforcement utilizes its technology to catalog these events, and they provide basic public details through this website. Great to have, but is a concern knowing how many events happen in just 7 days across Billings.

What are your thoughts on this? Will you utilize this website to help keep you better informed about Billings? Do you think Billings PD should be doing more to inform the public of crime happening in Billings? Let us know on App Chat or Facebook.


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