- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Police in Missoula continue to improve their investigation of sexual assault reports and are demonstrating better communication with victims and community sexual assault resources.

The evaluation is required under the department’s May 2013 agreement with the Department of Justice to improve policies and training in handling sexual assault and rape cases.

An external review panel looked at 41 felony sexual assault cases between September and March and only found significant concern with the investigation of one case.

Independent reviewer Thomas R. Tremblay says while there’s room for improvement in officers’ initial response, he’s noticing improved documentation and tracking of evidence.

The department is seeing increased reports of sexual assault, which Tremblay said could be due, in part, to increased community awareness and public confidence in the reporting process.

The next evaluation will be released in September.

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