Guess what citizens of Eureka….you are all WRONG!
You believed that a quarter of cars and houses in your neighborhood being burglarized meant property crime was going up. WRONG!!!
You thought that the numerous articles about violent crimes and murders was a sign that violent crime was going up. WRONG!!!
You thought that driving down Broadway seeing the hordes of apparent Drug Zombies under the influence of meth and heroin was a sign that there were more criminals in the city. WRONG!!!
You thought that the “catch and release” program which currently allows criminals selling pounds of meth out on the street with the same ticket (promise to appear) as speeding violators was a sign that the local justice system was falling apart. WRONG!!!
How is possible that you could be so WRONG? Because Police Chief Mills says so.
According to his press release yesterday:
“Overall there is a slight downward trend since January 2013. The second quarter of 2014 shows an 8.5% decrease in property crime compared to the second quarter of 2013. Violent crime totals include reports of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. There is a steady downward trend in violent crime reports since January 2013. There is a 23% decrease in violent crime when comparing the second quarters of 2013 and 2014.”
Well readers, there you have it. The crime rate has gone down.
…..But, wait a second….there was that line that says “crime reports”. Ahhh, that’s the trick. You see, the amount of actual “crime reports” taken is the way in which they gauge the crime rate. And EPD has gotten very good at harkening back to the good old days of not taking reports. Here is an example of how a call was handled from one of our staff:
“I parked my car in Old Town and went to a book store. I was only gone for about 30 minutes. When I got back, I saw that my back passenger window was broken out. I had a bag on my backseat, containing several plates I had purchased earlier in the day. I called EPD. 45 minutes later, an officer responded. I told him what happened. He briefly looked at my car and said there weren’t any “usable latent prints” on the door or window. I asked if he was going to put on some fingerprint powder, and he told me that there wasn’t any point. He said that there wasn’t any way to even compare latent prints from these type of petty crimes, so it was a waste of time. I asked about a report number, and he told me he was giving me a “CAD documentation” number, since no serialized property was stolen. As far as I’m concerned, it was a waste of time calling EPD.”
The Examiner did some checking and found out that many “calls for service” never actually generate a “crime report”. Crime reports are what get entered into the national database for the FBI and local agencies to generate statistics. EPD, under Murl and Mills (Murl jr.) have been using the age old tactic of lowering the crime rate; don’t take a report. Many of you out there might have had a similar experience. If the cop told you he would “document” the crime or he/she gave you a “CAD number” (Computer assisted Dispatch), that means the crime won’t be included in local statistics. Apparently EPD is taking a page out of the City Finance Department’s old play book, we like to call the “Shell game”, originally perfected by former Finance Director and long time City Manager David Tyson.
A few unintended consequences seem to come up from this tactic, though. First, on the graphs provided by EPD the city’s crime index for June of 2013 was 176. June of 2014 was 201. That’s an increase! What isn’t included in the graphs is the amount of calls for service, along with a comparison of “CAD (Computer assisted Dispatch) Documentation” vs. “Crime Reports Taken” from 2013 to 2014. That might shed some light into the shady accounting practices at EPD.
Also, since EPD is claiming that crime is going down along with EPD’s staffing, doesn’t it stand to reason that LESS funding for EPD would also mean a lower crime rate? The answer is, yes. The fewer officers there are at EPD would also mean the less crime reports that are taken and written. That means that the crime rate goes down. It doesn’t matter that the city is more violent, people are victims of theft more often and the quality of life is getting worse and worse. The fact is that EPD is taking fewer reports, so the statistics will show that the crime rate is getting lower.
Thank you for your legacy Murl Harpham, and the rest of the Old Guard. Your failure to address problems and take reports has the intended consequence of making Eureka less safe, with statistics that don’t paint the real picture. Instead of a crime-ridden cesspool, the legacy of Murl and his heir is a lower amount of reported crime, therefore making Eureka the next Mayberry (unless you live in Eureka).
The Examiner wonders if this Klown Council will try and take credit for lowering crimerate. “see, we diverted measure O money from public safety and spent it on salaries and the Zoo and the Crime is Down!”