Police have been getting a lot of attention in the national news lately. Most of the coverage hasn't been positive. While some of the criticism regarding excessive use of force has arguably been deserved, I think most of us generally appreciate the difficult jobs that our local police, EMT's and fire departments do around Billings.

Credit: Townsquare Media Billings
Credit: Townsquare Media Billings


Without the police, I feel like society would rapidly descend to total chaos and Billings would become more like the wild west than it already is. I'm not a "boot licker" by any means, but let's be real... cops are necessary for a number of reasons. I think we've all noticed the number of murders and violent crimes happening around town this spring and summer. Cops can't really stop it, but at least they can arrest the suspects and let the justice system handle the prosecution.

Credit: Townsquare Media Digital Team ~ Mark Makela
Credit: Digital Team ~ Mark Makela

Today (8/12) I caught up with Jill Fox, one of the organizers of the First Responder's Appreciation Day, happening Saturday, August 22. I asked Jill why she was drawn to help organize the event and she told me the story of how her family lost their home in a fire last year. Since then, she had been looking for an avenue to help give back and show some appreciation to our firefighters, EMT's and police department.

Here are the details for the event on 8/22:

  • Vehicle Parade Line-Up at 4:30 PM. The public is encouraged to decorate their vehicles and join the parade that will start at the Hobby Lobby/US Bank Parking lot at 24th and Central. Best decorated entry will win a gift card for dinner.
  • Party at Rimrock Kia and VW (4040 King Ave West). Starting at 4:30 come enjoy bounce houses, a DJ, Blue Line BBQ (free for police, fire and EMT's!), live music by ZEN, a silent auction from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. and beer and wine for sale starting at 9 pm.

Back the Blue wristbands will be available for $5 each. If you would like to support the cause but are concerned about COVID-19 you can donate via Venmo to 406-998-8424. Jill said they are still looking for additional silent auction items as well. She can be reached at the same number. Additional details are up on their Facebook Event Page. All money raised will help provide first responders with "items of comfort" for children, such as blankets, stuffed animals or items like a car seat after emergency personnel respond to vehicle accidents. Per the event page:

This event is to say thank you to our “Super Hero’s’’ of Yellowstone county. This fundraiser is to raise money for our first responders to help comfort children during a call; it can be a blanket after they loose everything from a fire or a new car seat after a car wreck. These “Super Hero’s” blessed my son and I when we lost our home to a fire in 2019.

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