Missoula Crime Report: ‘Alarming Number’ of Domestic Violence Cases
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Missoula County Attorney’s Office charged 18 new criminal complaints this week, which is the same as last week and closer to the weekly average. According to Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings, 11 of the 18 cases this week were violent crimes.
“In that violent crime category, we had seven domestic violence situations,” Jennings said. “That's a really high number per week. I went back over the last couple of years and we did have about eight domestic violence cases three weeks ago. There's been a couple times since about 2020 that we've had that many but this is a really alarming number.”
Jennings reiterated his concerns about that high number, but he also said there can be a positive side as well.
“It means that victims of domestic violence are more willing to report crimes against them or the violence in their relationships, it means that we have law enforcement doing a really great job in investigations, and our community has some other really good resources and information that we can give to victims when they are experiencing this,” Jennings said. “We are always disturbed by high numbers like that but on the other hand, we're glad that we can help keep people safe.”
Jennings said most domestic violence involves alcohol or drugs.
“Rarely do we see these cases where people are stone cold sober in the middle of a weekend day out on their patio getting in a violent fight,” Jennings said. “It's almost always fueled by drugs or alcohol and those are really warning signs. It's one of the things that we deal with in our criminal justice system. It's a reason that a lot of drugs are illegal because even though personally I don't necessarily care what people do with their bodies, we know that when people are using drugs, they end up not being their best selves and they end up hurting themselves or they hurt others around them. It's especially tragic when it is their loved ones or their children.”
In addition, there were four property crimes and three drug crimes this week.