According to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office, crime numbers jumped significantly in 2018. County Attorney Kirsten Pabst was in the process of publishing her annual report.

“We filed about 30 more felonies than we had in pervious years,” Pabst said. “We are sort of at an all-time high for felonies. We also filed several hundred more misdemeanors than in years previous. Our total crimes that we handled this last year were 2,184. This is the first time we have been up over the 2,000 mark.”

According to Pabst, involuntary commitment cases took a big hit as well.

“We kind of predicted that,” Pabst said. “About this time last year, we received the news that the state cuts were going to result in the community losing case managers for the mentally ill. We predicted that the results of that would be fairly catastrophic for that group of folks that are hanging on with lots of intervention.”

Without that intervention, Pabst says there were 300 involuntary commitment cases last year, which is a 25% increase compared to 2017. There were a few instances where the crime rate actually dropped.

“Interestingly, juvenile petitions are down by about 20 from last year,” Pabst said. “Child protection cases, for the first time since I can ever remember, are down. They were trending up significantly and steadily over the last several years, but this year they are finally down.”

Pabst says the official report should be available sometime next week.