Crime codes are used by the FBI crime statistics department to total crime reports. it gives a glimpse into how various police units around the country are doing.
Milwaukee police record clerks have routinely changed computer codes by hand in a way that removes serious assaults from the city’s violent crime rate, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.
This is done even when the department’s computer system flags the incidents as cases where an aggravated assault classification is warranted because a dangerous weapon was used.
Instead of correcting the report to put the incident in the proper crime category, in hundreds of cases clerks or supervisors changed the weapon listing to generic codes that avoided triggering additional scrutiny by state and FBI crime analysts.
That allowed the incidents to be reported as simple assaults, a lesser classification that is not part of the city’s violent crime rate, which Police Chief Edward Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett have touted as dropping for four consecutive years.
While Flynn has blamed computer issues for more than 500 cases of misreported aggravated assaults identified by a Journal Sentinel investigation in May, a review of the process shows any computer shortcomings are exacerbated by clerks who department officials now acknowledge handled cases incorrectly.
That’s one way to lower crime rates, just hide the increases, by filtering the data that gets entered. I assume they learned from the global warming fear mongers and their “hide the decline” statistics calculations.