Less Cops = Less (Reported) Crime

In the city’s most violent districts, police officers say, they may be assigned half a dozen jobs or more—covering everything from traffic accidents to assaults—at the start of a shift. Their watches are spent racing from call to call, while anything that requires investigation stacks up. Officers describe having to weigh whether to make an arrest. The process “downs” their car, taking it off patrol for a few hours or so, which leaves their beat uncovered and puts more pressure on their fellow officers.

Sometimes, they say, when it comes to minor offenses, they just look the other way.

via Chicago magazine – August 2012.

This is from a fairly long piece about Garry McCarthy but it’s this paragraph that struck me.

In Chicago No Report = No Crime.  You have beat cops who are overworked / overloaded they and cannot focus on the little things.  So what happens?  They let some of the little things go because they have more important — higher priority — calls already waiting for them.  When this happens the little things don’t get reported.  It’s like the crimes never even happened.

Of course Compstat is at the center of this.  It gives the Mayor and McCarthy the plausible ability to say things like, “Well overall crime is down.”


I can’t believe that I have not already written a post on Compstat but I can’t find anything.  Grrrrrr!!

Ok so, for those that don’t know Compstat is a system of policing accountability which originated in New York with the NYPD.  And in case you don’t know Garry McCarthy, the current Chicago Police Superintendent, is from the NYPD and eats, sleeps, sh__s, and wipes Compstat.  If Compstat was a person (woman or man) Garry McCarthy would marry it.  When McCarthy came to Chicago he brought Compstat with him.  You can find many articles about this at the Tribune, SunTimes, etc.

So what?  Well here’s the rub:  It’s a fraud.

No Superintendent of any police department wants to oversee an increase in crime.  No politician wants to be in office when there is an increase in crime.  So what happens is that the politicians beat down on the Superintendent who beats down on the Deputy Chiefs who beat down the Commanders who beat down on the Captains who beat down on the Lieutenants who beat down on the Sargents who beat down on the beat cops.  And just like magic, the beat cops make sure that there is less crime.  How?

I’ve already written about how CPD brass is telling us crime is down crime is down but 911 calls to the OEMC is off the charts.  In Chicago no report = no crime.  So when police are busy and can’t get to you, your crime goes unreported, therefore there was no crime.  In Chicago we have a severe shortage of police officers.  Fewer officers means longer response times means fewer crimes are reported.  Consider this, the way that Chicago tracks crime if there were no police there would be no crime.

Back to Compstat.  Compstat’s fraud is in addition to the crimes that actually unreported.  Compstat coerces police of all ranks to reclassify crimes in order to create the appearance of less crime.  e.g.  Instead of arresting someone for burglary (a felony) they get written-up for trespass (a misdemeanor.)  Fewer felonies means less crime.

You don’t think it happens?  Think again.

February 2010

There’s something very big here. If you look at the repercussions, this stats program does for police what the Leave No Child Behind program for schools does to teachers– encourages them to shape the data. In this case, it may be putting us all at risk by fudging crime stats.

A new survey of over 100 retired NYPD captains and senior officers found that they believed that statistics were manipulated to portray lower crime rates for the compsat program that calculates crime rates..

The survey suggests that police have distorted crime reporting, dropping value of stolen goods so the theft is categorized as misdemeanor instead of felony. They drop categorization of crimes from felony to misdemeanor if suspects can’t be found.

via HuffPo.

This story forced the NYPD to clamp-down on officers who were talking about the fraud.  It took some time but two years later the NYPD forced a lawsuit by an officer who was pressured to downgrade crimes.  It was written about here, and here, and here.  A quick search will reveal other stories as well.

So… what’s important to understand here is that you cannot trust the crime numbers put out by the police department.  It’s 100% pure manipulated hogwash.  You know that CPD is losing control of the city.  You know that your friends don’t feel as safe after Cubs games as they used to.  You see there are more street fights outside of bars.  You read in the paper that more people are getting shot than ever before.

The difference between the truth and what the CPD reports is Compstat.


UPDATE 06/30/2012:  Silly me had “comstat” instead of “compstat”.  I need an editor.