Kansas City Needs To Address Crime-Data Problems: Newspaper


The Kansas City Police Department should be embarrassed by the incompetence of command officers in keeping track of the soaring crime rate, says editor Tom Bogdon of the Kansas City Tribune. Last year, a CQ Press listing of national crime rates put Kansas City 18th on the list of several hundred cities. It likely would have ranked even worse in the 2008 rankings because violent crime increased in 2007. Kansas City wasn't ranked at all this year due to missing data. In other words, Kansas City failed to report.

Historian William Worley says that in the 1950s; a Kansas City police chief apparently presided over a department that manipulated crime statistics, especially those covering burglary and larceny, in order to make the crime situation in Kansas City appear better or worse than in other cities. The recent record-keeping problems of the Kansas City Police Department have been attributed to computer problems. However, most computer problems can be attributed to “garbage in, garbage out.” Bogdon says that enough time has elapsed since a City Auditor's study of the problem to provide an adequate explanation. The newspaper says it will look for an adequate explanation of Chief James Corwin's record-keeping problems.

Link: http://kctribune.com/article.cfm?articleID=18518

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