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September 6th, 2010

Compstat

I’ve been cringing ever since the story broke alleging that the NYPD is basically doing what they can to make their crime stats appear better than they are. Leonard Levitt makes some interesting points about it in his September 6th post on his blog (that link will always take you to the current post so you may have to scroll back to see the one from September 6th).

There is no doubt crime is down, but given the tremendous pressure to keep crime down and to keep it going down every year, and many other factors (some mentioned by Levitt) this mess was almost inevitable. I cringe because, well, I have a sense of what is probably going on behind the scenes.

It’s been a bad patch of crime news. A recent article in the New York Times about the FBI’s Civil Rights Cold Case initiative was filled with disheartening news.

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(The picture by Erik Lesser is from the Times article.)

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