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We obtained data on 65 Police and 57 Sheriff’s Depts in the state of Montana.

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Scorecard at a Glance

Average for 4 Sections: 39%

Scores range from 0-100% comparing states with data from both state and local law enforcement agencies within the population. States with higher scores spend less on policing, use less force, are more likely to hold officers accountable and make fewer arrests for low-level offenses.

50th Percentile
Police Funding:  58%
Police Budget Cost per Person        
Misconduct Settlements        
Police Presence/Over-Policing (Officers per Population)        
Police Violence:  29%
Force Used per Arrest        
Deadly Force per Arrest        
Unarmed Victims of Deadly Force per Arrest        
Racial Disparities in Deadly Force        
50th Percentile
Police Accountability:  23%
Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Excessive Force Complaints Upheld        
Discrimination Complaints Upheld        
Criminal Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Approach to Law Enforcement:  44%
Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses        
Homicides Solved        
Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests        
Jail Incarceration Rate        
Jail Deaths per 1,000        

Key Findings

Police Funding i

58% -9%

Police Funding By Year

$374.16M  |  1,041,732 Residents  |  $359 per Resident

More Police Funding per Capita than 58% of States

Funds taken from communities in fines and forfeitures

Total: $371.66M from 2010-20

More Fines/Forfeitures than 77% of States

Number of officers per 1k population

2,032 Officers  |  19.3 per 10k Residents

More Officers per Population than 36% of States

Police violence i

29% +1%

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Less-Lethal Force

Used More Force per Arrest than N/A of States

408 Incidents  |  119 every 10k arrests  |  +43%

No Data Found Add Data

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Deadly Force

55 Killings by Police from 2013-21  |  2 every 10k arrests

^  More Killings by Police per Arrest than 72% of States   

Deadly Force by Armed Status

9% Unarmed  |  42% Did Not Allegedly Have a Gun

Unarmed Other Alleged Gun Vehicle

^  More Unarmed People Killed per Arrest than 59% of States   

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Police Violence by Race

Black Latinx N.Am API Other White

Population of Montana


Montana Law Enforcement Demographics


People Arrested


People Killed


^  More Racial Disparities in Deadly Force than 99% of States   

Police Accountability i

23% +11%

Total civilian complaints

642 from 2016-21  |  14% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints Not Sustained Complaints Sustained

Use of Force Complaints

14 Reported  |  0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Complaints of Police Discrimination

6 Reported  |  0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints Reported Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Alleged Crimes Committed by Police

11 Reported  |  0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints Reported Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Approach to Law Enforcement i

44% +14%

Arrests By Year

271,117 Arrests Reported from 2013-2021

Low Level Arrests Other Arrests

More Info

Arrests for Low Level Offenses

166,575 Arrests  |  20 per 1k residents

^  Higher Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses than 36% of States   

Disparities in Arrests for Low Level Offenses by Race/Ethnicity

Black people were 7.6x more likely and Latinx people were 1.3x more likely to be arrested for low level, non-violent offenses than a white person.

Black Latinx White

Percent of total arrests by type

All Arrests for Low Level Offenses ( 61% )

Drug Possession ( 8% )

Violent Crime ( 4% )

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Homicides Unsolved

331 Homicides from 2013-21  |  112 Unsolved

^  Solved Fewer Homicides than 65% of States   

Percent of Homicides Unsolved by Race

Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 10% )

Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 17% )

Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 4% )

Deaths in Jail

30 Deaths from 2013-19  |  12 per 1k Jail Population

Homicide Suicide Other Investigating


^ Higher Rate of Jail Deaths than 67% of States   

Jail Incarceration rate

4,210 Avg Daily Jail Population  |  2 per 1k residents

^  More than 48% of Sheriff's Depts  

People in Jail Without Being Convicted

74 % of People in Jail

Montana Statewide Scores

Rankings are based upon a 0 to 100 percentage scale. States with higher scores use less force, make fewer arrests for low level offenses, solve murder cases more often, hold officers more accountable and spend less on policing overall.

Overall Scores for States where We Have Obtained the Most Data.

Grade Scale Tap "show more" to see extended list

Statewide Score 5YR
* Hill County 47% +5%
* Sheridan County 47% +8%
* Wibaux County 47% +7%
* Petroleum County 48% +5%
* Blaine County 48% +2%
* Wibaux 48%
* Columbus 48%
* Golden Valley County 48% +3%

* An asterisk indicates this location did not publish enough data to evaluate. Click below to add data to the Scorecard.

About This Scorecard

This is the first nationwide evaluation of policing in the United States. It was built using data from state and federal databases, public records requests to local police departments, and media reports. While police data is never perfect, and there are additional indicators that still need to be tracked, the Police Scorecard is designed to provide insight into many important issues in policing.


Police Scorecard is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, learn more about our team here. If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact our Founder, Samuel Sinyangwe.

methodology Source Data


Use this Scorecard to identify issues within police departments that require the most urgent interventions and hold officials accountable for implementing solutions. For example, cities with higher rates of low level arrests could benefit most from solutions that create alternatives to policing and arrest for these offenses. In cities where police make fewer arrests overall but use more force when making arrests, communities could benefit significantly from policies designed to hold police accountable for excessive force. And cities where complaints of police misconduct are rarely ruled in favor of civilians could benefit from creating an oversight structure to independently investigate these complaints.


Here's how to start pushing for change

  • Contact your State's Governor and Attorney General, share your scorecard with them and urge them to enact policies to address the issues you've identified:
    • MT State Attorney General Austin Knudsen
  • Look up your state and federal representatives below, then tell them to take action to hold police accountable in your community.