Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani cites statistics as a ready answer for the nation’s woes, says the Associated Press. The former New York mayor argues that his use of statistics to fight urban crime can help solve problems such as illegal immigration and port security.Crime dropped by half while Giuliani was mayor of New York in the 1990s, a fact he attributes to the Compstat system of mapping crime patterns and making police commanders responsible for reducing crime. If elected president, Giuliani wants a similar system for Washington, with “Border-stat” to stop illegal immigration and “Terror-stat” for homeland security.
Experts agree that Compstat helped curb crime; they disagree over how much credit Compstat deserves. “I’m not sold,” said Andrew Karmen, sociology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Other factors contributed, such as an improved economy, an influx of immigrants who were generally law-abiding, and more criminals serving jail time. Karmen cited open admissions at public colleges, which provided an education to more young people. Talking about crime plays to Giuliani’s strengths, said Republican pollister Tony Fabrizio. “Republicans are known for their tough, take-no-prisoners attitude in combatting crime, and Giuliani has that image and has that record, to a large degree,” Fabrizio said, adding that Giuliani could weaken his image with the bureaucratic-sounding “Iraq-stat” and “Border-stat.”