Controversial Study: NYPD Officials Cooked Books


nypdDo the numbers add up? A new report is accusing some of the NYPD of fudging crime statistics, and the effects could mean fewer police officers on your streets.

Some New York City cops cooked the books according to a controversial new study.

“That’s just blatant corruption, in my book,” Clinton resident Marguerite Scott said.

Retired NYPD Captain Dr. John Eterno and researcher Eli Silverman surveyed retired, high-ranking officers. The officers claimed that, under pressure to lower the crime rate, some supervisors and precinct commanders fixed crime statistics. They allegedly instructed officers to downgrade offenses to lesser crimes, ones that would not be measured by the NYPD’s CompStat program that measures crime trends.

“They’d send somebody out into the field to try to persuade a victim to change their story, perhaps, a little bit,” Dr. Eterno, of Molloy College, said.

“You think it’s safe and you come out and someone hits you over the head, and they tell you to sweep it under the rug – that’s crazy,” West Side resident Darryl Nickey said.

“There’s a tendency to push the envelope with crime statistics if your whole career is being measured by crime statistics,” Silverman, from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said.

The NYPD says CompStat was found to be accurate ad reliable in a study by NYU’s law school and the state comptroller’s office. A police spokesperson says “hundreds of captains do their job honestly, without resorting to dishonesty of any kind.”

If false reporting by police is, in fact, a common practice, and it continues, some residents say they’re worried they’ll be robbed of the resources their neighborhoods really need.

“There are so few officers out there because of the crime statistics indicating that there’s not so much crime, and they’ve cut the police department to an enormous amount,” Dr. Eterno said.

Dr. Eterno says a shrinking department puts officers, and the public, at risk. Accurate numbers would only help New York’s Finest keep the streets safe.

The CompStat program was put in place in New York in 1994, and has been franchised to hundreds of police departments.

{WCBSTV/Noam Newscenter}