Hardin has been trying to create its own force for several years, which would allow it to no longer rely on the county sheriff's office for law enforcement. Indeed, the flirtation with APPF as a potential law enforcement provider appears to have been connected to this long-standing deconsolidation effort.
For a while, that seemed likely to derail the entire project. As Becky Convery, the Hardin former attorney, who is still working with the city on the police force issue, put it to commissioners yesterday: "Somehow we went down this other path that sort of sidetracked everything."
Now deconsolidation is back on. But as the Billings Gazette puts it:
It's not clear where the city will get the estimated $1 million a year it will cost to run a department with a police chief and seven officers.
Hmmm...we hear there's a California-based private contractor with a long record of criminal fraud and a history of alcoholism who'll do it on the cheap.