They Don’t Want You to Know

I bet you have no idea how many shootings there have been in Chicago this year.

Me either.

And it’s not because I haven’t tried to find out. About two months ago, I started reporting on crime and public safety. In light of the on-again, off-again handgun ban and Supt. Jody Weis’ insistence that there are too many guns out there, I was certain the Chicago Police Department would track shootings.

And by shootings, I meant just that. Any time a loaded gun was fired. I thought that was clear enough.

The Chicago Police Department records crimes in a very specific way. Aggravated batteries with firearms are incidents in which someone is shot. But according to Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti, a department news affairs officer, this only includes the number of incidents, not victims. If five people are shot in a club, it’s recorded as a single incident even though a minimum of five shots were fired.

And when three people were shot Wednesday morning in front of a Taco Bell next to Wrigley Field, police said the case report classified it as a single incident of aggravated battery with a firearm.

(Full story here.)

Mr. Weis and the Mayor tell us over and over that “crime is down.”  But something inside of us tells us otherwise.  What’s amazing here is that it take some college students to find out how badly the Chicago Police Department keeps its books.

It takes awhile for this to sink-in because it doesn’t make sense, but in CPD world unless there’s a report there was no crime.  I recently wrote about how at a recent CAPS meeting we were told that there were 17 calls to 911 that resulted in zero (0) reports being filed.  Conclusion of CPD brass?  No crimes occurred.

Why keeps stats this way?  Because they don’t want you to know what’s really going on.

This needs to change.  We need to start measuring crime in practical ways.  I will be writing more about my plan to reduce crime in the near future.