Whether you’ve been doing crime analysis for one year or fifteen years, chances are that at some point in your career you’ve seen the intentional skewing of crime statistics, or perhaps more commonly, the flawed and incorrect interpretation of crime statistics by well-meaning people who simply don’t understand them.
Well one Police Chief in Texarkana, Texas is firing back. Watch this video of Police Chief Shiner responding intelligently to some misrepresented data about his City at a City Council meeting this past Monday. He makes some great points including:
- How ephemeral increases in crime should not detract from the long term reductions being achieved
- That there are very defendable reasons for why the FBI cautions against comparing crime statistics across jurisdictions
- And that failing to provide context when discussing crime statistics fails to provide people with the whole picture
While he doesn’t mention the use of crime analysis specifically, the Department seems to be doing some great work in the areas of problem-oriented policing, community policing, and involving the public in its police work. Chief Shiner also seems to understand a thing or two about crime statistics and the responsible interpretation and representation of those statistics.by