Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MPD Fails To Disprove Allegations That Hundreds Of Violent Assault Crimes Were Misreported To FBI

Chief Edward A. Flynn

The MPD responds to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report alleging that hundreds of violent assault cases were misreported to lower crime statistics in police reports.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 23, 2012

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Fynn got into the defensive about the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) report alleging that the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) was engaged in misreporting violent aggravated assault cases to suggest the city was experiencing lower crime rates in 2011. The MJS cited several cases that were not included in the serious violent assault cases statistic report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but were considered simply assaults by MPD.
The FBI reviewed those cases as a request by the MJS and the FBI considered them serious enough to have been included in the MPD report as violent crimes. But MPD did not classified them as violent and excluded some from the report or classified them as lesser crimes that included more than 500 cases and at least 800 cases dating back to 2009, according to MJS.
The MPS Source reported that reporter Ben Poston and editor Greg Borowski from the MJS had interviewed Chief Flynn and their main "premise to be proven: the Milwaukee Police Department is lying about its crime numbers." The Source confirmed that MPD is "not making excuses. We are not suggesting that errors don’t occur. We are however, asserting that there is a substantial difference between bureaucratic mistakes and purposeful misrepresentations. It is an awful big leap to suggest bad intention."
What MPD is now suggesting, that it might have been "bureaucratic mistakes" for misreporting violent crime cases. Chief Flynn said in a press conference on Wednesday, the misreporting came from possible "crime coding problems to human or computer errors" and "not intentional" as perceived in the MJS report concerning MPD reporting lower crime statistics. Flynn denied he ordered any distortion of the crime statistics.
Since Chief Flynn had taken office in 2008 as head of the MPD, the department has taken less concern with low priority calls from city residents about crime in their neighborhoods. Such calls by residents to the department are not recorded into statistics or how many residents have actually called or which of those calls did officers actually responded to and were recorded in crime statistics.
Chief Flynn confirmed, an internal investigation will be launch to figure out how violent assault cases were misreported. The FBI is also investigating by request from Flynn, to why MPD failed to include numerous violent crime cases in its statistics report to the bureau. Alderman Robert Donovan said, he will also request for the city comptroller to conduct a complete independent audit of the MPD crime statistic numbers.
State Senator Aberta Darling (R-River Hills) is also requesting an independent investigation by the Legislative Audit Bureau of MPD and wonders, if MPD failed "to follow protocol or an effort to mislead the public" about crime rates.
MJS reported, that the cases reported were only a fraction (500 cases, 20%) of the hundreds of cases left out by MPD. MJS is claiming the crime actually rosed by 1.1%, in contrary to what Chief Flynn had reported.
Will the MPD Fire and Police Commission also investigate Chief Flynn and its own department to figure out who is responsible for misreporting violent crime statistics, including dating back since Flynn took over the department to see, if violent crime statistics were misreported as well?
Union officials at the Milwaukee Police Association agreed, that an independent audit and investigation should be conducted, but they don't have any confidence that the Fire and Police Commission would do an efficient investigation of MPD.

Connected by MOTOBLUR™ on T-Mobile

No comments: