Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn ordered dozens of officers and civilians to undergo two days of basic training on FBI crime reporting standards, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. An investigation by the newspaper in May found hundreds of violent assaults misreported as minor offenses that were not counted in the city’s violent crime rate. What remains unclear is how much internal training police employees have received from the department on FBI crime reporting standards, a decades-old system meant to track crime trends in a community and around the nation.
In May, Flynn told the Journal Sentinel that – along with a dysfunctional computer system – sergeants and lieutenants failed to catch mistakes on FBI crime classifications when reviewing reports. Later, Deputy Inspector William Jessup said records clerks were not properly trained on FBI protocols and were routinely changing weapon codes to allow violent attacks to be incorrectly reported as minor assaults. Officials have said the department’s roughly 1,300 police officers were never trained on FBI crime coding because they are focused on solving crimes and arresting suspects under state law.