SUBSCRIPT: Will Chicago's 'CompstatCPS' follow New York's lead in killing crime by 'juking' the stats?

Amid an enormous amount of fanfare, and with a cast of nearly hundreds (mostly police officers), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard, and Police Supt. Gerry McCarthy hosted a December 13, 2011, media event at Police Headquarters at 35th and Michigan to introduce Chicago's media to the latest in crime fighting: "CompStatCPS." (The URL for the original Substance article, published in December 2011, is:§ion=Article).

Following the December 13, 2011, media event at Police Headquarters supposedly showing a CompStatCPS meeting between police officials and principals, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (above center) spoke to the press about the crime prevention program. Above, CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard answered a few questions before Emanuel took charge of the media event's question portion. On the left above is Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.But the question will have to be asked at a much more local level before the cheering will make sense. Is CompStatCPS just another way of what The Wire called "Juking the stats..." That is, playing numbers games to prove things are getting better when they aren't. And while there hasn't been any major news investigation of how Chicago crime statistics are being reported lately (either from the public schools, or in general), suspicions have to be raised whenever a politically connected duo like CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy are in charge of the data that will show whether the mayor (who appointed both out of towners over local objections; McCarthy is from Newark, New Jersey, and Brizard's last position was in Rochester, New York) are in charge of the numbers. Whether the numbers become part of a numbers game that hinders actual crime fighting and gang suppression in Chicago's public schools remains to be seen.

Recently, The New York Times took a close look at the Happy Talk coming out of New York City's police and discovered a lot of the "data" were skewed by under-reporting of crime. To anyone who watched the fictional rendition of the same praxis in "The Wire" nearly ten years ago, this was no surprise. But it became news in New York as 2011 limped towards 2012. The Times story appeared at the end of 2011, in the print edition and on line on December 31, 2011.


NYPD Leave Offenses Off the Books to Keep Crime Rates Down. Saturday 31 December 2011

by: Al Baker and Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times News Service

The enormous screen at Police Headquarters featured the Power Point presentation that would accompany 'CompStat CPS' on December 13, 2011. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Jill Korber walked into a drab police station in Queens in July to report that a passing bicyclist had groped her two days in a row. She left in tears, frustrated, she said, by the response of the first officer she encountered.

“He told me it would be a waste of time, because I didn’t know who the guy was or where he worked or anything,” said Ms. Korber, 34, a schoolteacher. “His words to me were, ‘These things happen.’ He said those words.”

Crime victims in New York sometimes struggle to persuade the police to write down what happened on an official report. The reasons are varied. Police officers are often busy, and few relish paperwork. But in interviews, more than half a dozen police officers, detectives and commanders also cited departmental pressure to keep crime statistics low.

While it is difficult to say how often crime complaints are not officially recorded, the Police Department is conscious of the potential problem, trying to ferret out unreported crimes through audits of emergency calls and of any resulting paperwork.

As concerns grew about the integrity of the data, the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, appointed a panel of former federal prosecutors in January to study the crime-reporting system. The move was unusual for Mr. Kelly, who is normally reluctant to invite outside scrutiny.

The panel, which has not yet released its findings, was expected to focus on the downgrading of crimes, in which officers improperly classify felonies as misdemeanors.

But of nearly as much concern to people in law enforcement are crimes that officers simply failed to record, which one high-ranking police commander in Manhattan suggested was “the newest evolution in this numbers game.”

It is not unusual for detectives, who handle telephone calls from victims inquiring about the status of their cases, to learn that no paperwork exists. Detectives said it was hard to tell if those were administrative mix-ups or something deliberate. But they noted their skepticism that some complaints could simply vanish in the digital age.

Detective Louis A. Molina, president of the National Latino Officers Association, said that for some officers, the desire of supervisors to keep recorded crime levels low was “going to be on your mind,” and that it “can play a role in your decision making.”

“For police officers,” he added, “it’s gotten to the point of what’s the most diplomatic way to discourage a crime report from being taken.”

Some public officials have said they have received more complaints from constituents that their reports of crime were not being recorded. State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn said his office had to contact “local precincts directly to make sure that criminal complaints were filed and processed appropriately.”

In the case of Ms. Korber, the police did eventually take a report of her being groped, but only after her city councilman, Peter F. Vallone Jr., intervened, she and Mr. Vallone said. In fact, Mr. Vallone said that he had grown so alarmed over how many women were being groped in his district that he contacted the 114th Precinct; his staff then asked Ms. Korber to go there again.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said each precinct must audit police responses to radio dispatches four times a month “to assure that crime complaints are taken when necessary and prepared accurately.”

“Alleged failures to take a report of a crime are investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau and, if corroborated, the officer is subject to disciplinary action,” Mr. Browne said.

Additionally, Mr. Browne said the department conducted frequent audits of written reports to ensure that officers were properly classifying crimes. The most recent of those audits have found an error rate of 1.5 percent, down from 4.4 percent in 2000, he said.

The reasons for not taking a report, police officials said, can vary. Some officers seek to avoid the dull task of preparing reports; others may fear discipline for errors in paperwork. Sometimes officers run out of time because they are directed to another job.

There are certainly calls that do not merit a crime report: a victim’s account of an alleged crime can be deemed dubious, for example.

However, some commanders said, officers sometimes bend to pressure by supervisors to eschew report-taking. “Cops don’t want a bad reputation, and stigma,” one commander said. “They know they have to please the sergeants.” Like several other officers and supervisors, he spoke only on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

The sergeants, in turn, are acting on the wishes of higher-ups to keep crime statistics down, a desire that is usually communicated stealthily, the commander said. As an era of low crime continues, and as 2011 draws to a close with felony numbers running virtually even with last year’s figures, any new felony is a significant event in a precinct and a source of consternation to commanders.

On the Upper West Side in July, a man in red shorts climbed through a window into the living room where Katherine Davis, 65, was reading the paper. She ran, a few steps ahead of him, and locked herself in an adjacent apartment, where she watched through the peephole as the man searched for her before he left.

Officers drove her around to look for the intruder, unsuccessfully. Ms. Davis asked if they could take fingerprints. But the officers said, “Oh, no, that’s only if you have a detective, or investigation,” she recalled. She asked for a case number.

“They said, ‘There is no case number,’ ” she said.

No one came to interview her or to seek videotape from the numerous surveillance cameras nearby, she said. That is where things ended.

“I just assumed it was laziness,” Ms. Davis said. “Why bother to take a report?”

Even when New Yorkers follow up, they are sometimes surprised to learn that their complaints were never classified as a crime. In one case, Sandra Ung, 37, went to the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown after her wallet disappeared at a Starbucks.

“I had it and then it was gone,” she said of the Feb. 23 episode. She said she believed her wallet had been stolen, but could not prove it. She assumed the police had recorded it as pickpocketing, but when she retrieved a copy of the report days later, she saw it was recorded not as a crime, but as lost property that had gone “missing in an unknown manner.”

That report also reflects the line of questioning Ms. Ung faced; it noted that “she wasn’t bumped nor jostled.”

In June, the Police Department issued a guidebook that instructed officers how to categorize all imaginable variations of crimes — including 24 situations involving identity theft and 3 types of strangulation. Its section on pickpockets could be viewed as a rebuke to how officers handled Ms. Ung’s case and possibly others like it.

The guidelines focused on the very words that the police used to discount her suspicions: “The victim does not need to have witnessed, felt or otherwise been aware of being bumped or jostled in order to properly record the occurrence as grand larceny.”

Despite the new guidelines, some critics say subtle tweaks in police protocol offer opportunities to avoid taking reports. In 2009, the department came up with a new policy that might seem inconsequential: Robbery victims would have to go to the station house to give their reports directly to a detective or patrol supervisor.

The intent was to get an investigator on the case as quickly as possible, but one police commander said supervisors were aware that another consequence could be that fewer crimes would be reported.

The policy was restored to its original form last year, with uniformed officers once again allowed to take the initial report of a robbery.

“A police report wouldn’t get made because they make you wait in the police station for hours,” one commander said. Eventually, he added, the crime victim would give up and leave.

This article, "NYPD Leave Offenses Off the Books to Keep Crime Rates Down," originally appeared in The New York Times.


January 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM

By: John Kugler

A Math Problem

from our brothers at Second City Cop

We haven't seen the official count yet as we're enjoying the last few days of our 13B. Supposedly, Chicago suffered a grand total of 4 fewer murders than last year.

2010 - 435

2011 - 431

After a year touting "double digit" crime reductions all over the media, the only number that matters was less than a 1% reduction. All the units being disbanded, the shuffling of administrative positions and elimination of spots, even the counting of recruits coming off probation as "officers" was used to justify all sorts of political shenanigans, and pretty much demonstrated exactly how little control the police have over idiots determined to kill one another.

Here's a conundrum though - crime statistics are usually expressed in terms of ".... per 100,000 people." Chicago lost 200,000 residents in the last census. So is it safe to assume that Chicago's homicide rate has actually been climbing? We're going to guess that the media is told to play up the "drop in the number of homicides" rather than the "homicide rate climbs."


here is the scam rahm and daley propaganda machine stories i found with a quick google search

Violent crime down in Chicago, Weis says - Chicago Tribune

May 9, 2010 – Even as violent killings and beatings make headlines across Chicago, police Superintendent Jody Weis said violent crime is down 11 percent ..

Weis: Chicago crime down despite recent violence - Chicago ...

Aug 2, 2010 – For the third consecutive day, a top Chicago police official held a news briefing as the department struggles to get out its message that crime ...

Homicides up, overall crime down in Chicago - Chicago Breaking ...

Jul 20, 2010 – Homicides are up more than 5 percent in Chicago compared with last year, according to crime statistics through the end of June. There were ...

Violent crime down in Chicago, police figures show - Chicago ...

Jun 5, 2011 – Overall crime was down for the 29th consecutive month in Chicago, according to preliminary monthly crime statistics for the month of May ...

Police: Crime Down In Chicago For July « CBS Chicago

Aug 16, 2011 – Police say crime was down in Chicago for the month of July, making it the 31st month in a row that's happened.

Chicago Crime Down For 30th Straight Month | News One

Jul 18, 2011 – Police in the nation's third largest city say overall crime was down 4.2 percent last month compared with a year ago, making it the 30th ...

Chicago's-violent-crime-down-in-January - Chicago Sun-Times

Bad weather may have contributed to unusually large falls in crime levels last month, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis acknowledged Sunday. Hailing 10 percent ...

Chicago Crime Statistics: Murders Down 14.2 Percent, Overall ...

May 9, 2011 – Chicago's crime rate continued to decline in April, marking the 28th consecutive month that the Chicago Police Department reported a drop in ...

Chicago Crime Down Overall: Police | NBC Chicago

Jun 6, 2011 – Total crime in the city fell 5.9 percent compared to the numbers through May 2010, according to police statistics.

Police: Chicago Violent Crime Down 30 Consecutive Months

Jul 11, 2011 – Chicago - Police in the nation's third largest city say overall crime was down 4.2 percent last month compared to a year ago, making it the 30th ...

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