Every year, people suffer from attacks by other people. There are muggings, physical assaults, sexual assaults, rapes, violence that comes from fists and guns and knives, and other instance of violence. Even very rural areas, which are deemed safe by many, are not exceptions. This includes small towns in Montana where crime can be an issue.
There is a town in Montana called Missoula. It is called “the hub of five valleys” and has a population according to the United States Census Bureau in 2016 of just over 100,000 people. It was founded in 1860, when Montana was still part of the Washington Territory and grew with three major influences to its economy: military, lumber, and the University.
Missoula was written about in the book “A River Runs Through It.” In that book, author Norman Maclean wrote “…the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana.” Missoula, Montana is portrayed as a welcoming place.
However, Missoula is no exception to crime. There are some statistics which show the prevalence of crime in Missoula, crime in Montana, and crime in general in the United States. They are in the following section.
- Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.
- Drug offenses account for 18% of arrests in Missoula County, Montana.
- Over 60% of violent crimes processed by the Missoula county attorney’s office arise in the context of domestic violence.
- In 2016, over 800 sexual assaults and 4,000 domestic violence crimes were reported in the state of Montana.
- In Missoula, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 22.
- According to FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Missoula is one in 190.
- An average 3,641 crimes are committed in Missoula each year.
Missoula needs a strong county attorney. There are some available in this coming election. But one stands out over others. She has the experience, having served as a county attorney before. She has been a innovator when it comes to certain criminal programs. She has served the city of Missoula for some years. Kirsten Pabst, Missoula County Attorney.
Kirsten Pabst has an unenviable job. She is in charge of handling criminal allegations that happen in Missoula. These, as shown above, can be everything from sexual assaults, domestic violence, armed robbery, drug related crimes, and more. She handles them and has handled them in her term as county attorney.
She also has defended Missoula from accusations brought on by others outside of Missoula. When Jon Krakauer wrote a book about the handling of sexual assault allegations in Missoula, Kirsten Pabst rose to defend Missoula, filing litigation that attempted to stop the book’s publication, alleging defamation.
She has been an innovator within the field. In 2016, as Missoula county attorney, she launched Montana’s first Criminal Mediation Program as a way to help out the justice system within the city. Missoula county attorneys serve four year terms, with an election coming up soon. She has been a strong force in the criminal justice system.
There are many issues within Missoula. Although it has an economy that seems strong, a better than average educated population, adequate water supplies, a great deal of wildlife, and plenty of open space for citizens to enjoy, the crime issue stands front and center. It is an issue in Missoula and Kirsten Pabst can lead the charge to stop it.
Crime in general has seemed to rise in America in the past couple of years. Baltimore, sometimes referred to as “Bodymore” due to the body count, saw the total of citizens killed in violent crime incidents rise to the highest it has ever been. Chicago, likewise, has experienced hundreds of gun violence related deaths this past year.
Gangs, likely, play a large role in this. Gangs can traffic in drugs, weapons, and other items that can lead to a great deal of money, but result in fights with other gangs over territory, those same drugs and weapons, and other items.
Kirsten Pabst has the ability to put a stop to the violence in Missoula. The violent crime can be lowered and the feeling of safety will continue to increase.