The numbers game

By G.W. Schulz

The police department sent out a press release earlier today complaining about an Examiner article from last Friday highlighting the city’s dismal homicide arrest rate. The department’s press office wants you to know that the article appears to have relied exclusively on statistics from a state criminal justice Web site.

First of all, here’s what they had to say:

“The statistics as presented in the article did not include many homicide arrests. For example, they do not reflect the recently much publicized federal gang indictments for murder … The department does not believe the statistics as presented in the article were intentionally misleading, but we believe that it is important to provide accurate data to set the record straight. The department has asked the Examiner to correct these errors to ensure that the public’s perception of our efforts in violence reduction [are] not undermined.”

Well isn’t that sweet. The department just wants clean numbers. That’s all. The problem is, their numbers don’t inspire much faith.