The Missoula County Attorney’s Office filed nine new criminal complaints this week. According to County Attorney Kirsten Pabst, that number is right around normal.

“We had one partner or family member assault, one regular assault, a theft, a burglary, a trespass and three drug cases,” Pabst said. “All of those were possession with intent to sell. They all involved methamphetamine and heroin.”

Pabst is almost done with her annual report for 2019 and she says crime numbers are trending in the right direction.

“We filed 747 new felonies this year,” Pabst said. “That number has been growing every year since 2013. Last year, we filed 764. Our misdemeanors are down a bit and our juvenile delinquents are down about 10. The total number of crimes that our office was involved with this year was 2,142, which is down about 40 from last year.”

When it comes to violent crimes, Pabst says almost half of those involved intimate partner violence or child abuse.

“121 of those were family violence or strangulation and another four were child abuse,” Pabst said. “There were 61 non family violence and robbery cases. We filed 12 cases involving assault on a peace officer, 28 sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent or incest cases, and three animal abuse cases.”

Dependent and neglect cases finally started to drop off last year and Pabst was happy to report that that continued this year. Pabst credited multidisciplinary groups like the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program and Program Safe Neighborhoods for the recent drop in numbers.

“I also think that some of the reform efforts that we have been engaged in in the past four years have perhaps started to pay off a little bit, including treatment in lieu of incarceration, diversion, and mediation,” Pabst said. “We have also seen an increase again in services like case management. Some of it might be luck and some of it might be the economy. It’s a combination of things, but we will take it.”

Pabst hopes the have the full report finished in the next few weeks.