DesertExile: A lesson on Statistics

14 April 2006

A lesson on Statistics

Today's San Diego Union has this bragging post:
County crows at glowing crime report

The city of San Diego and its neighbors have long stood among America's most beautiful and safest – albeit expensive – communities.
New crime statistics give the region even more cache.

San Diego County is a much safer place than it was 25 years ago, according to data released yesterday by the San Diego Association of Governments.
Overall, there were 36.4 major crimes per 1,000 residents in 2005. In 1981, the crime rate was 63.3 per 1,0000 residents. Major crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.
Last year's violent-crime rate – the number of homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults per 1,000 residents countywide – reached a 25-year low: 4.5.

Well, well, well

Then we go to the San Diego Police Officer's Association

The SDPOA represents the men and women of the San Diego Police Department. The City of San Diego is losing its officers at an alarming rate. Police and Sheriff departments in San Diego county and throughout the state of California are recruiting our experienced officers because the City of San Diego is not competitive in its compensation.
The SDPD is not able to hire enough officers to keep up with attrition. The citizens of San Diego should be concerned that the historically superior police department it deserves is being reduced to something less. Over $500,000 is invested in the training of a police officer in the first five years. San Diego has become the training ground for other police agencies. Click
here to see the experience level of those leaving.

Employees Departing for Other LE Agencies
Depart Date Agency Seniority
01/02/2005 DA's Office 11 YEARS
01/06/2005 DA's Office 13 YEARS
03/29/2005 Murrieta PD 11 YEARS
04/10/2005 FBI 2 YEARS
04/25/2005 CHP 7 YEARS
05/06/2005 Santa Ana 7 YEARS
06/03/2005 SD City School PD 5 YEARS
07/06/2005 Riverside DA 18 YEARS
07/28/2005 Accepted job in DOJ 10 YEARS
08/26/2005 ANAHEIM PD 6 YEARS
08/31/2005 Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. 8 YEARS
09/09/2005 La Mesa PD 1 YEAR
09/09/2005 Murrieta Police Dept. 6 YEARS
09/09/2005 Murrieta Police Dept. 6 YEARS
09/14/2005 Murrieta Police Dept. 5 YEARS
09/21/2005 Riverside Sheriff's 5 YEARS
09/23/2005 Denver PD 9 YEARS
09/29/2005 District Attorney 20 YEARS
10/26/2005 Hired at Riverside Sheriff's 5 YEARS
10/27/2005 DA's Office 22 YEARS
10/27/2005 DA's Office 24 YEARS
10/28/2005 Murrieta PD 6 YEARS
El Cajon PD 1 YEAR
11/25/2005 City of Hemet 11 YEARS
11/28/2005 Riverside Sheriff's Dept. 13 YEARS
12/01/2005 Carlsbad PD 7 YEARS
12/02/2005 Temecula 7 YEARS
12/02/2005 Santa Monica PD 6 YEARS
12/02/2005 Carlsbad PD 5 YEARS
12/05/2005 Carlsbad PD 5 YEARS
12/05/2005 Riverside Sheriff's Department 7 YEARS
12/08/2005 DA Office 14 YEARS
12/11/2005 Hemet PD 14 YEARS
12/15/2005 Banning PD 6 YEARS

12/18/2005 San Bruno PD 1 YEAR

There is a practice known in law enforcement and prosecution known as "Kissing off"
That means: As an Officer you encounter or are sent to an incident. You quickly determine that it is very unlikely that: A. the perpetrator will be caught, and B. the matter will never result in prosecution. Now, this does not apply to California Highway Patrol Officers, because the penalty for "Kissing off" a situation that calls for documentation is DISMISSAL

Example: Shortly after I went to the Field, and to South Central Los Angeles CHP Office, an Officer [Women did not enter the CHP as Officers until late 1975] was sent to a "Hit and Run" collision. The victim was a young lady, and typical of young women, was extremely emotionally upset about being struck. She had been on the Harbor Freeway, when a "Large Blue Car" came into her lane from the left, sideswiped her car, then accelerated away. She did not know the make of the car, who the driver was, male, female, Black, Hispanic or what.

The Officer told her that if he took a report, he would be" wasting my time, your time, and the State's time".

The woman went home. When her husband came home, he saw the left side of her car was wiped out. He stormed into the house, and demanded to know what had happened. The lady explainmed, and he blurted out a demand:" You did get a police report, didn't you?" She repeated what the Officer had said. Husband flew into a rage, and rang up the CHP Office.

That Officer was investigated, and fired.

The situation with the San Diego Police is that there are never enough officers to do the job.
The same situation has been true for the Border Patrol since 1985. Many times, I would stop a car, find 4-6 men in it, and find that none of them had identification. I'd call for Border Patrol and be told " They are too busy" or" All of their units are busy".

The result is twofold, and decided by the Administration.
First, the Powers-that-be have "Prioritized" Calls. If your house has been burgled, you can not expect a police officer to come to your house--ever. A Civilian "Report-taker" will show up in a comapct car and listen to your description of what happened and what was lost. They say that immediate "threat to life" calls take precedence. You can not expect any further effort to locate your property, as "They are too busy".

Get your car stolen. You will be told that an Officer WILL NOT come to your location. You will be asked your phone number, and told that a "report taker" will call you. You will then make a report OVER THE PHONE.

Second, Police Departments live and die by Statistics. Too many crimes, and you don't look good. Solved crimes look good. So, the pressure is to "Kiss Off" incidents that should be recorded.

As said before, Prosecutors engage in the same practice. In one case, two males were in a car that veered off a road and hit a tree. The driver was drunk. The passenger was almost killed.
In reality, that passenger is NOT the victim--the State of California is.
The prosecutor rejected ( Fancy term for kissing off) case saying that "The Victim does not wish to prosecute".


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