MISSOULA — The Missoula Police Department is releasing new data to the public in what they're calling an effort to be transparent.
The first-ever annual police report highlights an increase in violent crime.
During the pandemic, individual detective caseloads increased by about 200 cases.
The report says this added work was exacerbated by a loss of employee hours, all while violent crime continued a steady rise.
Homicides increased from five-to-seven while aggravated assaults rose to 308 cases in 2020. MPD says drug use -- especially meth -- is a large factor in these numbers.
New MPD Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold says as Missoula grows, she has noticed more crime in her five years with the department.
The report shows the Street Crimes Unit seized 12 pounds of meth and served 51 search warrants.
The document also details information such as body cameras, areas where crime is high -- and recognizes non-uniformed employees.
Arnold says MPD is grateful for the public support they receive.
"This report was published because we really wanted the opportunity to be transparent with the public about what Missoula Police Department does,” Arnold told MTN News.
“As well as highlight all the people who work in other roles at the police department, and how much work they do to support the police department and support the officers,” she continued.
The report also outlines the number of officer-involved shootings over the year as well as complaints against the department.