The past eight months have passed about as smoothly as a kidney stone for Donald Babbin, the inaugural chief for the Hardin Police Department.
Babbin, a Massachusetts native, arrived in Montana last summer. Since then, he’s overseen the hiring, equipping and mobilizing of a police force several years in the making.
Hardin Police Chief Donald Babbin reads the account of the arrest that spurred the end of dispatch services for the Hardin Police Department from the Big Horn County News on April 7.
The Hardin Police Department was born out of demand from the city’s residents. Since its formation, officers on the city police force have responded to calls including missing people, shots fired and an attempted jail break at the Big Horn detention facility.
In January, however, a wedge formed between city and county authorities, starting with placing restrictions on city officers entering the county sheriff’s office, and most recently excluding the police department from 911 dispatch calls made in Hardin. An accusation of excessive use of force on the part of a Hardin officer prompted the