The candid, painful admission that one of Billings own on the thin blue line took their own life was part of a Project Blue Light ceremony on Tuesday night, honoring line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement.  Billings Police Chief Rich St. John acknowledged another very real threat to the lives of men and women in a very difficult job.

The Billings Chief spoke to his community and more than 30 people at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, almost a year after Sgt. Shawn Finnegan took his own life.  St. John and other speakers at the event talked about different line-of-duty risks and the strains of the job– saying today’s threats are high-powered, deadly and complex– acknowledging the 134 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year.  Nationally, some figures indicate that officer deaths by suicide are twice as high as deaths from traffic accidents or felony assaults.