Thursday, May 28, 2009

Detroit's Innovative Way To Get Lower Crime Stats

Don't arrest criminals and don't take reports on crime.

In Why are the jail cells empty? Detroit Free Press reporter reveals that jails in Detroit have plenty of space not due to a drop in actual crime but to a drop in arrests and Police action against crime.

So much so the article goes on to note that Police are not even appearing to take reports after crimes have occurred leading to a misleading statistical impression that overall crime is down 9.1% while homicides are up 24%, probably because it's a bit harder to hide bodies lying around than to hide other crimes.

Much of this is due to the cuts in the number of officers available to handle calls for service, which leads to very long or sometimes even no response times even to robbery.
The Detroit Police Department deploys about half the number of sworn officers it did in the 1990s, and has lost roughly 1,000 officers over the last five years.

The cuts to the police force is not unique to Detroit, nor is the problem. Pontiac for example is having a similar issue with response --
Pontiac, however, is experiencing a trend similar to Detroit's: Arrests have declined as the number of sworn officers has dropped from 170 to 65 in the last three years.

One of the most essential services any government entity can offer is public safety. If a city is unsafe, decline in quality of life and of the city itself is sure to follow. Without public safety a city doesn't offer much, which of course is why politicians go after public safety cuts first in a way to play chicken with the taxpayers to cause them to agree to more taxes and protect politicians far less essential pet projects.

Of course if Detroit got its property tax system in line, for example by not giving City Council members special deals on their property taxes, say charging them $68 dollars a year while their neighbors get charged 6,000 in the same neighborhood, it might be alleviated somewhat. But then again corruption is so endemic to etroit at this point that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Yet if you walk into any precinct in the city, you will see numerous sworn officers--mostly small/overweight females who "affirmative-actioned" their way onto the department but don't have the desire or ability to do actual policing--just sitting around and pretending to do basic administrative work that could be done by civilians for a lot less money. It's been that way for decades and probably always will be, unless and until the department tightens up it's standards for hiring and begins to terminate people who cannot or will not do the job.