Ed Claughton
PRI Management Group
June 25, 2011

(Note: PRI Management Group was contracted for this audit)

Why would an agency intentionally manipulate their crime stats?  To make their personnel look better?  To lend the appearance that they are doing their job?  Because of immense pressure from above to lower crime?

These are usually the reasons you will hear and they sometimes come from the media and sometimes from disgruntled employees who work under management systems such as Compstat.  But, these accusations of cooking the books are rarely upheld.

I have written several articles stating that the intentional manipulation of crime stats by law enforcement is uncommon.  The latest occurrence of such an accusation occurred in Nashville and I was contracted to assist with the audit.

Completed by the Office of Internal Audit in Nashville, it demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the problematic crime figures at the Metropolitan Nashville PD were the result of a software error (see my article here which addresses this very issue), not human manipulation.

90% of allegations of this nature in fact turn out to be false.  Some of the victims include the Miami police, Phoenix police, and the Houston police along with a number of other smaller agencies.

The one example that holds true was the 2004 case involving the Broward Sheriff’s Office- possibly the most extensive case of cooking the books that has ever occurred.

Regardless, this is why an agency needs to be prepared for that day when it comes. Someone, somewhere, someday will more than likely hurl some kind of charge your way like a ticking time bomb, claiming that your numbers were fixed. Maybe they’ll be right or maybe they’ll be wrong. Either way, catch it before it happens and you’ll be grateful. Do a quick Google search for the case in Nashville and see how they were dragged through the mud (especially by WTFV). The media is hardly one to trust…call me if you need help.  We’ll get to the bottom of it, good or bad.

Here is the Audit report itself.