So, Where Was That Crime-Stats Story?
That's probably what Mayor Tom Leppert and the Dallas City Council are wondering this morning, because, on Friday, Dallas First Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans sent to council a memo warning them that The Dallas Morning News would "against present an article this upcoming weekend critical of an aspect of the Dallas Police Department's crime reporting process" -- specifically, the way the DPD adds up the number of assaults. Writes Evans, "The piece will contend that the Department is under reporting aggravated assaults as a result of a change in reporting practice that occurred in 2007." Alas, no such story appeared in the paper yesterday or today.
The News last went after the DPD in September, over the way it reports (and omits some) car-burglary statistics. That prompted a very unhappy Ron Natinsky to suggest during a Public Safety Committee briefing that maybe it was time to start sending open-records requests to The News, underscoring, yet again, the tension over DPD's reporting policies and the perception, at the very least, that not all crimes are being counted.
Evans's three-page missive -- in which he outlines the way DPD adheres to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program; insists DPD doesn't adjust the way it reports numbers for "the stated purpose of artificially lowering crime"; and writes that "no victim has been underserved ... and no suspect will receive lesser punishment" based on the way DPD catalogs stats -- follows. As do a few other memos sent to council at the end of the week, for those scrap-booking such things.
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