by Michael J. Marino
Billings Police Department (BPD) announced on Sept. 8 that they are expanding their program to deter trespassing to include all businesses in the city limits.
Billings Trespass Enforcement Program (BTEP) – spearheaded by Patrol Sgt. Brad Mansur – allows officers to “issue a trespass warning, court summons, or when necessary, an arrest, even if the property owner or manager is not present,” according to a press release. If a person is issued a trespass warning, they are banned from shopping at that location for one full year, and Mansur said this “adds a level of accountability” to the consequence.
In an interview, Mansur described how BTEP works in a “complementary” manner with other local organizations and programs, and he noted a grant through the Chamber of Commerce and City Council funds the current downtown version of the program.