CompStat Under Question

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A survey of more than a hundred retired police officials has raised some questions about the accuracy of crime reporting in New York: “The retired members of the force reported that they were aware over the years of instances of “ethically inappropriate” changes to complaints of crimes in the seven categories measured by the department’s signature CompStat program.” CompStat is a crime mapping and statistics reporting program that garnered national attention for its approach to helping police understand crime hotspots and subsequently leveraging police manpower to areas that need it the most.  The program was highlighted in the 2001 series “The District“.

The reporting of these crimes make up the seven major index crimes that are reported to the FBI.

[R]etired senior officers cited examples of what the researchers believe was a periodic practice among some precinct commanders and supervisors: checking eBay, other Web sites, catalogs or other sources to find prices for items that had been reported stolen that were lower than the value provided by the crime victim. They would then use the lower values to reduce reported grand larcenies — felony thefts valued at more than $1,000, which are recorded as index crimes under CompStat — to misdemeanors, which are not, the researchers said.

The allegations come as the result of research being done by two researchers for a book tentatively titled, ““Unveiling CompStat: The Naked Truth.”

Read more: Retired Officers Raise Questions on Crime Data

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