Manufacturing Low Crime Rates at the NYPD

Dec 8, 2004
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#1
Manufacturing Low Crime Rates at the NYPD: Reputation Versus Safety Under Bloomberg and Kelly

The practice of manufacturing artificially low crime rates increased substantially after 2002 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his police commissioner Raymond Kelly. New research based on interviews with 2,000 retired police officers from the NYPD reveals pervasive, system-wide corruption of criminal records and police practices. This research suggests that concern with the department's reputation for reducing crime, much more than with public safety, drives police policy.

Mountains of scientific evidence supporting this are explored in The Crime Numbers Game. The bulk of the book's evidence came from a survey of 500 retired police officers ranked captain and above, as well as from in depth interviews with over 40 retired and active officers.

A new survey of former NYPD officers includes 10 police chiefs, 36 inspectors, 63 captains, 262 lieutenants, 382 sergeants, and 1,154 patrol officers and detectives. The survey asked officers if they had witnessed words being changed in crime reports or observed other unethical efforts to downgrade serious crimes to lesser offenses. Using the officers who retired before 1995 as a baseline, the survey found that 25 percent of those officers had personally observed unethical crime reporting. Only 28 percent of those who retired between 1995 and 2001 had observed these activities.

However, in the Kelly/Bloomberg era (2002 and after) over half the officers -- 51 percent -- had observed the intentional misclassification of serious crimes as petty offenses and other unethical practices, typically multiple times. Officers also reported that since 2002 they had experienced unusually strong pressures from supervisors to downgrade crimes and keep crime numbers low.

The consequences of downgrading or not reporting crimes can be severe. For example, in 2010 recently retired Detective Harold Hernandez revealed to Village Voice reporter Graham Rayman that a series of sexual assault-robberies in Washington Heights had been downgraded from serious felonies to misdemeanors. As a result, the NYPD missed the crime pattern and allowed a sexual predator to remain at large for at least two months and to commit six more *****.

More evidence came from numerous NYPD whistleblowers. Since 2010 officers Adrian Schoolcraft, Craig Matthews, Frank Polestro, Adyl Polanco, and Vanessa Hicks have talked openly to reporters and TV cameras about the routine downgrading of crimes and the use of illegal arrest quotas by the NYPD. Not surprisingly, they have been punished by the department for doing so. Other officers have discussed confidentially the pressure to keep numbers low with reporters and researchers (including the authors).

It is important to understand that the official crime rate is a powerful indicator of crime in New York and a broader gauge of how the city is doing. The mayor and other officials, the real estate and tourist industries, and the top brass at the NYPD all have a strong interest in keeping the crime numbers low.

This research also indicates that the corruption of crime reports is a consequence of the misuse of Compstat (the NYPD's computerized crime reporting and mapping system introduced in 1995). Ironically, this innovative management accountability system, which was designed to reduce crime, has become twisted. Compstat now serves as a powerful mechanism to ensure that downgrading permeates the whole department.

At weekly Compstat crime strategy meetings, commanders are held accountable for crime in their precincts. When used in a community-oriented and problem-solving fashion, this makes great sense. But when the upper echelon's ability to keep tabs on the crime rate and closely monitor officers and precincts is coupled with pressure to keep crime numbers low, the Compstat system is turned on its head.

There is now a clear message emanating from the top commanders at police headquarters: make many stop and frisks, write many summonses, make many arrests for petty offenses, and downgrade serious crimes. In other words, the NYPD seeks to keep the serious crime numbers low while showing lots of officer activity. The NYPD's 50,000 marijuana arrests, 600,000 summonses, and nearly 700,000 stop and frisks do little or nothing to make the city safer. Indeed, this unnecessary activity alienates communities and hurts the NYPD's ability to fight serious and violent crimes.

This strategy does not involve intelligence gathering, surveillance, or community involvement -- nor does it make good use of Compstat. This is a policy created to maintain appearances, not to catch dangerous criminals. When the NYPD protects and serves its reputation for reducing crime, it does not protect and serve the people of New York; these are conflicting priorities.

In the next year New Yorkers have an opportunity to effect change. The mayoral race is heating up as opposition to the NYPD's racially-biased stop and frisks, marijuana arrests, and other practices intensifies. As the New York Times and others have suggested, this is an excellent time to install a federal monitor or inspector general with powers to investigate and supervise the NYPD's practices.
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d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#5
ConStat is a better name for the system that encourages cooking the books.

Policing is not suppose to be about making politicians look good, or raising revenue.

Crime, is what it is.
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
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Oct 22, 2004
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#6
Bloomberg is directly responsible. Have no doubts.
 

Jon the Cop

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Oct 20, 2008
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#10
This happens everywhere.

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EXACTLY! I was threatened by 3 supervisors during my time on patrol. All 3 times it was over me questioning their order to change the title of an ARSON report to something stupid like "fire of unknown origin" or "suspicious fire". Really? Was the fire suspicious? Was it lurking in the shadows near the house prior to engulfing it? I only got in Sgt to admit it was because of fucking stats that he was ordering me to remove the word arson from my report. Never mind that I walked through this house with a fire chief and was shown where accelerant was used etc, he told me it was an arson. But no, we won't call it that!

I've also personally seen ra pe reports titled something else so the stats don't go up and the current mayor/chief look better to the public come stats time. Mayor get reelected and chief stays in his comfy chair, his underlings stay in their comfy spots.... It's despicable.
 

jimmyslostchin

Malarkey is slang for bullshit isn't it?
Jun 8, 2005
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#11
I've also personally seen ra pe reports titled something else so the stats don't go up and the current mayor/chief look better to the public come stats time. Mayor get reelected and chief stays in his comfy chair, his underlings stay in their comfy spots.... It's despicable.
Was it titled "Oopsie he tripped and fell and his penis landed in her vagina" report?
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#12
It's easy to blame the politicians for treating cops like tax collectors, but the police chiefs and unions share in that blame.

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Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
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#13
They pull this CompStat manipulationin the Midwest. Thing is, so many bodies are hitting the ground, namely in Chicago, that people can't be bullshitted that "crime is going down." If somebody gets stabbed you can call it something like aggravated assault with a deadly weapon instead of a murder attempt, a "r word" can become a sexual assault, but if somebody else murders somebody else you can't play semantics with the corpse. Murder is the one thing that is really hard to bullshit people on.

Whatever police officers are told to classify the crimes in order to please their bosses and political critters has definitely gone down in severity but in no way does anybody believe that crime is "down" in places like Milwaukee or Chicago.
 

Motor Head

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#14
They pull this CompStat manipulationin the Midwest. Thing is, so many bodies are hitting the ground, namely in Chicago, that people can't be bullshitted that "crime is going down." If somebody gets stabbed you can call it something like aggravated assault with a deadly weapon instead of a murder attempt, a "r word" can become a sexual assault, but if somebody else murders somebody else you can't play semantics with the corpse. Murder is the one thing that is really hard to bullshit people on.

Whatever police officers are told to classify the crimes in order to please their bosses and political critters has definitely gone down in severity but in no way does anybody believe that crime is "down" in places like Milwaukee or Chicago.
Yep, one of my best friends was a shift supervisor and he was under constant orders to review reports and have the arresting officer clean up their paperwork. At the time North Omaha was turning into Beirut. The mayor was trying to attract new businesses to Omaha and the last thing he wanted was black on black crime fucking up the CompStats. Caterpillar was about to agree to put a combine plant in West Omaha and BMW had narrowed down where they were going to put their next SUV plant between someplace in NC or Omaha.
 

Neckbeard

I'm Team Piggy!
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#15
NYC and Chicago also have enormous financial pressure because of their tourist destination natures. Nobody wants to hear about non-stop sexual assaults, flash mobs and murder attempts. NYC has had some sort of Black-Hispanic drug and race war going on for quite some time and Chicago has totally gone to the black gangs and savages so the CompStat manipulation pressure is huge. The "Magnificient Mile" in Chicago for instance is a death trap for Whites and Asians and all the festivals in NYC and Chicago are absolute bongo parties and chimpouts but you'll never hear it.

Plus, with NYC it is all black and brown coddling. Something like 95+ percent of all knife and gun crime is committed by Blacks and Hispanics.
Fuckin' Bloomberg and Emmanuel would NEVER speak race reality on NYC's violent crime problem.
 

kidconnor

55gallon hog
Mar 16, 2005
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#16
Easy thing to do is check to see how misd have done through out these years. F
 

Jon the Cop

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#17
St Louis got a lot of attention a few years ago for severely underreporting ra pes. I'm too lazy to look it up for you though.
 

OccupyWackbag

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Dec 12, 2011
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#19
You know there is another way to lower crime rates other then lying on reports to look better... it starts with putting down the radar gun.

My town Glassboro is a shining example. For decades this place has been a cespool of drugs and crime patroled by a police force that consentrated mostly on aggressive traffic enforcement. We are actually one of the few S. Jersey towns with a red light camera (and the town got caught shortening the yellow below regs, big surprise right?) Well when the local college achieved university status they got their own police force (real police with full arresting powers student or resident) Well they do a great job and while you see them with people pulled over sometimes you mostly see them in on campus or in the shit areas dealing with the criminals.

The town is finally getting a lot better. You can actually walk around without getting fucked with. Glassboro PD still spend all their time writing tickets and the Rowan police handle the actual police work.

Not that traffic enforcement is not important but too many depts. focus too much on the money maker and not enough on actual crime.
 

Hudson

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#20
I've had calls that I've been on where I was told by police/prison guards to say it was something other than what it was. Most of them seemed to be regarding what appeared to be Illegals, Criminals that they have been looking for, and inmates who "fell". We can't do that legally and won't. Want a more accurate map of violent crimes? Look at the ambulance calls.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#21
You know there is another way to lower crime rates other then lying on reports to look better... it starts with putting down the radar gun.

My town Glassboro is a shining example. For decades this place has been a cespool of drugs and crime patroled by a police force that consentrated mostly on aggressive traffic enforcement. We are actually one of the few S. Jersey towns with a red light camera (and the town got caught shortening the yellow below regs, big surprise right?) Well when the local college achieved university status they got their own police force (real police with full arresting powers student or resident) Well they do a great job and while you see them with people pulled over sometimes you mostly see them in on campus or in the shit areas dealing with the criminals.

The town is finally getting a lot better. You can actually walk around without getting fucked with. Glassboro PD still spend all their time writing tickets and the Rowan police handle the actual police work.

Not that traffic enforcement is not important but too many depts. focus too much on the money maker and not enough on actual crime.
Other than the NJ state police harassing people driving u haul trucks, NJ cops that I've been able to observe aren't that bad. Hackensack cops don't fuck with anyone.

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Hudson

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#22
Other than the NJ state police harassing people driving u haul trucks, NJ cops that I've been able to observe aren't that bad. Hackensack cops don't fuck with anyone.

Sent from my SGH-T679 using Tapatalk 2
Never been to the shore have you? They have a saying there "Driving with the wrong color plates" I had an officer watch me pull into the Eatontown Toll plaza, take off my seatbelt, reach into my pocket to get the toll, pay the toll, rebuckle my seatbelt, and stop me as I pulled out for driving without my seatbelt.(PA. plates) I went to court to fight it in a suit Judge told me I was lying. 2 months later I was forced into a left turning lane by an aggressive driver on Ocean Ave in the same jurisdiction in the same car with the same plates. Summer Cop pulled me over for illegal lane change and cited me for illegally parking in a fire zone where I pulled over. I paid the illegal lane change and planned on fighting the parking in a fire zone, but nothing came in the mail about it. In the meantime, I changed my plates over to NJ, as well as my license. Judge put a bench warrant out on me for failing to pay the Parking fine. A year later on my way home from work, I run a yellow just turned red light by the 36 circle in Neptune...cop pulls me over. Runs my license, sees the warrant, I spend the night in the pokey in my work uniform. Appear before the same judge that called me a liar a year before. Looks at my lifeguard uniform and my EMT patches and dismisses the charges stating that an upstanding member of the community such as myself who works in the ems field knows better than to park in a fire zone.
 

Hudson

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#23
Local cops by the Jersey Shore are dickbags to out of staters and out of towners. Huge revenue stream for the shore towns.
 

Psychopath

Plata O Plomo
Dec 28, 2008
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#24
Wasn't NY the first city to use ComSTAT? I remember see a documentary about Giuliani and I remember he was pushing stats hard.
 

vadersnutz

Registered User
Oct 6, 2004
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#25
You know there is another way to lower crime rates other then lying on reports to look better... it starts with putting down the radar gun.

My town Glassboro is a shining example. For decades this place has been a cespool of drugs and crime patroled by a police force that consentrated mostly on aggressive traffic enforcement. We are actually one of the few S. Jersey towns with a red light camera (and the town got caught shortening the yellow below regs, big surprise right?) Well when the local college achieved university status they got their own police force (real police with full arresting powers student or resident) Well they do a great job and while you see them with people pulled over sometimes you mostly see them in on campus or in the shit areas dealing with the criminals.

The town is finally getting a lot better. You can actually walk around without getting fucked with. Glassboro PD still spend all their time writing tickets and the Rowan police handle the actual police work.

Not that traffic enforcement is not important but too many depts. focus too much on the money maker and not enough on actual crime.
Glassboro? You are right down the road from me!