Missoula, MT -

Police officers with the city of Missoula and the University of Montana are being asked to act with compassion and "start by believing the victim" of a reported sexual assault.

The Missoulian reports officers underwent eight-hour training classes this week in Missoula as part of an agreement the city signed with the U.S. Department of Justice in May that set out changes officers were to make in response to reports of sexual assaults.

The DOJ said a review of hundreds of recent cases found some in which women were made to feel the assault was their fault, while in others police failed to obtain timely statements from suspects or witnesses.

Tom Tremblay, an independent consultant, told officers to focus on reassuring and empowering the victim instead of investigating them.