Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bloomberg's NY: Cops Manipulate Crime Stats

From the Daily News:

A Brooklyn precinct is under investigation for manipulating statistics to make its cops look like better crimefighters, the Daily News has learned.

Two probes are centered around whether Bedford-Stuyvesant's 81st Precinct recorded felonies as misdemeanors and refused to take complaints from victims - all in an effort to drive down the crime rate, sources said.

And the allegations came from one of the precinct's officers.

Officer Adrian Schoolcraft shared his suspicions with the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Quality Assurance Division, the NYPD unit responsible for maintaining the integrity of crime stats.

Schoolcraft told The News the top brass are so concerned with numbers that one precinct lieutenant is known as "The Shredder" because he's often spotted destroying documents.

Just how did cops at the precinct manipulate the stats? Here are some of the ways:

- A man who said he was beaten bloody and robbed - and then told by cops he was the victim of a "lost property" case because he didn't get a good look at the suspects.

- Another man who said he was berated by the precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, for trying to report a stolen car.

- Another stolen car victim who said it took her a month to get a complaint taken - and that happened only when a supervisor realized she was a retired traffic agent.

- An elderly man who said cops would not take a report when he was burglarized, saying there was "no evidence."

- A 65-year-old woman who said she was crying with anger and frustration when she could not get precinct cops to take a report about her stolen car.

I have a couple of things to say about this.

First, when we live in a society controlled by the data fetishists where stats must show progress every quarter or people get fired, you're going to have this kind of manipulation.

We see it on Wall Street where corporations manipulate their debt, hold things "off the books" and otherwise make their balance sheets look healthier than they really are.

We saw the Bush administration do it with the war funding, always using supplemental bills to fund the Iraq and Afghan wars so that the federal deficit and budget would look smaller.

We it in education, from the state level where the tests are dumbed down to ensure test scores go up the city level where the "credit recovery" program is put into place to make the graduation rates go up.

And now we see it with the police having to manipulate the stats too, rather than honestly report crimes in a precinct and deal accordingly with reality.

Can't say I'm surprised. I wrote a few weeks back after Bloomberg bragged about having the lowest crime rates since Peter Stuyvesant and the lowest fire fatalities since fire was invented that these stats were most likely manipulated and horseshit.

The allegations against the 81st precinct have not been proven yet, but knowing how the data fetish has pressured everybody in education to massage the stats, I believe these allegations are true.

And I also believe the 81st is not the only precinct engaged in this kind of dishonesty.

When Mayor Bloomberg finally leaves town for good and independent analysis of his time in office can be done, I am certain many examples of manipulated stats, fake data and overall dishonest reporting will come to light.

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