Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The 2022 Annual Report from the Missoula Police Department was released late last week, and newly appointed Police Chief Mike Colyer said there was an increase in violent and drug crimes.

“In the first five months of 2023, we had intercepted about 18,000 dosage units of fentanyl,” began Chief Colyer. “I don't have a current year-to-date number on that, but I would expect that that number is probably around 30,000 dosage units, and that doesn't count the amount of just fentanyl powder product that they've intercepted. So we’ve been working diligently on that as it is a huge risk, you know from an overdose perspective.”

2022 Annual Police Report Shows Increase in Drugs and Violent Crime

Chief Colyer said his officers are now better prepared to handle fentanyl overdose cases.

“The other way we combat the fentanyl issue is that we now deploy Naloxone with every one of our officers,” he said. “We issue them two dosage units and a carrying pouch, and they carry that on their load-bearing vest, and so when we get emergency calls for either unintentional or intentional opioid overdoses, they're trained in how to administer Naloxone. They've been able to save dozens of overdose subjects over the last couple of years and we're proud to be able to pitch in on those life-saving efforts that the fire and medical people supplement our work with.”

Chief Colyer emphasized cooperation with other law enforcement agencies when it comes to drug crimes.

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The Police Department Cooperates with State and Federal Agencies

“Well, particularly in the drug enforcement world, there's a real close relationship between the federal, state, and law enforcement agencies in our multi-agency, drug task force,” he said. “We also have a good relationship with the FBI and our Violent Crimes Task Force. So the way that that looks is when you have largely stand-alone violent crimes or weapon-related crimes that don't necessarily have a strong drug nexus, those often are going to the violent crime drug task force with the FBI.”

Chief Colyer says Crash Numbers are up by 600 Over the Previous Year

In addition, Chief Colyer said traffic crashes are increasing at an alarming rate.

“Some of the things that look to be trending kind of in the wrong way for us are our traffic safety numbers from 2020 to 2022,” he said. “We're up by almost 600 crashes in a year, so that's a lot. The positive news, though, is in the field of some of our violent crimes. Particularly, our homicides are down significantly from the last two years from seven in 2020 to just two last year, so that's a good sign. So there's some good news and some news that we need to work on, you know, both included in the report.”

To see the Missoula Police Department’s 2022 Annual Report, click here.

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