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MPD taking new approach to analyzing crime data

Posted at 3:02 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 18:04:54-04

MISSOULA – The Missoula Police Department has been taking a different approach to how they analyze their crime statistics by taking advantage of some of their University of Montana interns to track data.

MPD has been working with the UM Department of Sociology on staffing its intern positions, which have then been assigned to special projects in the past.

When the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative started last year, MPD thought it would be a good time to develop a data driven approach to preventing violent crimes.

An MPD intern was then assigned to go back through all violent crime cases and analyze data like victim and suspect characteristics and locations.

It’s still very early in the project but the hope is that this data analysis can help impede violent crimes here in Missoula.

“So we are in the early stages of the analyzing of the data. We are well into the collection of the data and the hope is that it will provide indicators for predicting, for us to deploy resources to address crime before it occurs,” MPD Chief Mike Brady said.

MPD is now going to take advantage of the UM Department of Geography and have hired an intern from that program to start tracking that data geographically.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News