Billings Police Chief: "We need to build trust' amid sex miscond - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Billings Police Chief: "We need to build trust' amid sex misconduct case

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BILLINGS- After a sexual misconduct case rocked the Billings Police Department, for the first time the police chief is addressing how the scandal has taken a toll on his agency. 

At this time, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says he must now take steps to regain confidence and trust in the community and within his department. 
As for the officers accused of the sexual misconduct, St. John says, "We need to be morally better than other people." 

Back in April, two of the officers acknowledged to having sex in sometime in 2013 and 2016 with a woman inside the Billings City Hall basement. Another said he was on duty when he had sex with the same woman outside his patrol car.

Originally, Chief St. John said he would release the names of officers upon public request from local media. 

The officers are fighting having their names released. In court, they've said they have a legal right to privacy. 

St. John says his department is under scrutiny because the misconduct happened in the first place.

"People make mistakes, and if people are out there being critical of me and critical of the police department thinks that anyone in their workplace hasn't made a mistake, I don't buy that," said the chief. 

Recently, his officer made 17 arrests as a part of a special police unit tasked with combating drugs and weapons crimes in the city. 

St. John wants people to remember what all the good his officers do daily. 

"Look at mitigating and aggravating circumstances and your point is well-taken on doing that on taxpayer money. And it's wrong and I don't condone it now, and I don't condone it then, and I dealt with it through the existing policy and our rules of conduct."

He says we are already living in a time where people are critical of police action. This is all compounded now by recent police officer involved shootings and this latest misconduct. 

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