CLICK HERE TO REPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION (Provide as much information as possible: full names, descriptions, dates, times, activity, witnesses, etc.)

Telephone: 347-632-9775

Monday, May 21, 2012

Former Captain Didn't Fudge Numbers, He Just 'Delayed' Disclosure

Former NYPD captain didn't fudge crime statistics in past - he 'delayed' in reporting them 
The New York Daily News by Ernie Naspretto - SPECIAL TO THE NEWS -  February 7, 2010
Former NYPD captain Ernie Naspretto says he delayed in reporting crime statistics til after midnight on New Year's Eve, 1997. 

I had no idea if crime statistics were fudged at Brooklyn's 81st Precinct. A probe reported exclusively by the Daily News last week will determine that. But I definitely know the pressure every precinct commanding officer in this city feels - week by week, month by month and year to year - to keep crime down. I'm a retired NYPD captain. I was the commanding officer of Bensonhurst's 62nd Precinct from June 1997 to July 1999. The "6-2" is by no means a high-crime area, but you would have never known that if you saw me on New Year's Eve, 1997. It was the last night of the year, and my Compstat figures, which measure the seven major types of crimes in a given precinct, were looking a little scary. Just six crimes before midnight - anything from murder to a car theft to a mugging - would mean I would break even with 1996 crime levels. Every other precinct in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South had numbers that were coming in well below the prior year. All their commanding officers were home celebrating the new year with their families. Yet there I was, working 2 p.m. to midnight, in my full captain's uniform with my white shirt and gold bars, hanging out in the precinct complaint room, known as the "124 room." I might've been the only captain in history to walk into a 124 room. I hadn't been inside one since I was a sergeant. That sort of work is left mostly to officers. People who came into the stationhouse couldn't believe the precinct captain was there to greet them and take their crime report. The supervisors and cops looked at me like I was nuts, or more accurately, just pathetic. But there was no way I was going to be the only captain in Brooklyn South who couldn't beat last year's figures.

The News reported last week that a cop at the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant complained to internal investigators that his superiors were refusing to take complaints or artificially downgrading felonies to misdemeanors to make their numbers look good. Well, the only thing that has changed for commanding officers since 1997 is that numbers are getting harder and harder to beat, and the pressure to do some dumb things is getting stronger and stronger. So what did I do that night? Did I fudge crime stats? Did I send crime victims on their way with no satisfaction? Absolutely not! I just ... delayed. I might have taken the complaints, but nothing was getting logged in the computer - and therefore would not "officially" count in Compstat - until after midnight. Until 1998. The complainants were happy. They got personal service from the captain. The 124 room civilian personnel were happy. They got to relax that night because nothing was going into that computer until I said so. More importantly, the borough commander and, ultimately, the police commissioner, were happy because Bensonhurst came in one so-called "index" crime below the year before. CRIME WAS DOWN IN ALL OF BROOKLYN SOUTH! Well, not really, because seven index crimes measured in Compstat were reported by victims from 2 p.m. to midnight, but since I prepared and reviewed the hand-written "scratch" copies, only five crimes could possibly be entered into the computer program by midnight. The other two were typed in sometime in the early hours of 1998 - a new year! Did that make me corrupt or unethical? Maybe. Who cares now? All I know is I didn't get any nasty calls or threats from "downtown" on Jan. 2. Compstat, started in 1994, is no doubt largely responsible for New York's resurgence. It is our single greatest crime-fighting tool - but the paranoia has to stop. Crime cannot go down forever. Let's get real. Even if crime were to go up 10%, it would still be at around mid-1960's levels. Crime is never good, but a paranoid police department is worse than a slight increase in crime. Politicians and police brass better get a grip quickly or cops may start seeing things they really didn't see. Or crimes that really happened maybe didn't happen. Ernie Naspretto was an NYPD police officer from July 1981 to July 2001, retiring as a captain. He covered the NYPD as a reporter for the New York Daily News from July 2006 until October 2007. Today he is an affiliate police instructor for the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute and is a security trainer and consultant.

No comments: