Some news from Missoula: awful Police Chief (of denial) Mark Muir is handing over his daily responsibilities so he can focus on the city’s response to the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the department's gender bias. Although Muir still refuses to admit that the department was ever shitty at handling rape reports, he'll admit that police have seen “an enormous increase” in the number of sexual assault reports in the 10 weeks since the federal investigation concluded than all of last year and the year before. What a coincidence!
As we've reported, the cops agreed to make changes to improve their response to sexual assault reports as part of an agreement between the DOJ and the city of Missoula. Muir has been whining for months about how the investigation was so damaging to Missoulians — he recently told the New York Times that Missoula wasn't "one of the worst of the worst" so it was unfair that the department had to "pay a huge price in terms of their reputation and their effectiveness in the community.” But according to the Missoulian, reporting has gone up significantly thanks to the DOJ:
The contract was signed in the middle of May, and since then police have seen “an enormous increase” in the number of sexual assault reports, Muir said. He said the department counts 27 reports in the past 10 weeks, although not all incidents are of recent occurrences, and one dates back to 2006, outside the statute of limitations.
That's more reports than all of last year and the year before. “We’ll continue to see if it’s a pattern or a trend that continues. It’s a real unknown for us, but it’s very unexpected,” Muir said. TOTALLY unexpected. No possible reason for the increase whatsoever.
The chief said he "will never concede to allegations the department was violating people’s civil rights," but he did call new training endeavors "a milestone."
“We continue to disagree with the Department of Justice with respect to whether we were violating people’s rights, but we see that there are better ways that we could accomplish both our work and to improve the outcomes of the criminal justice process,” Muir said. How big of him.
More good news: Muir's retiring in December.
Image via AP.