A consultant that is Milwaukee’s choice to conduct a audit of police crime data has publicly supported the Police Department, raising questions about the objectivity of the review, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission plans to spend $25,000 to hire PRI Management Group, founded in 2008 by Edward Claughton, a Coral Gables, Fl., police lieutenant. In more than a dozen Twitter and blog posts since a Journal Sentinel investigation found flaws with city crime data, PRI Management Group has praised Police Chief Edward Flynn and criticized the paper’s reporting. The paper found more than 500 violent assaults were misreported in a recent three-year period and not counted in the city’s crime rate.
On June 13, Flynn held a news conference to respond to a Journal Sentinel report that found police record clerks routinely changed FBI weapon codes in a way that allowed for the underreporting of hundreds of aggravated assaults. A Twitter post that day by PRI Management read: “Flynn, Journal Sentinel spar over MPD crime stats. Right on Chief! Way to take a stand against slanted reporting.” President Mike Crivello of the Milwaukee Police Association is skeptical that PRI Management will provide an impartial review of the police crime reporting process. “Find somebody who is friendly to your cause and then hire them,” Crivello said. “(Claughton) is absolutely compromised if he has already formulated an opinion without doing an investigation.”