Monday, April 27, 2009

We're Number 14! We're NOT Number 2

Click on any of these images to view in a larger frame.
As you can see, Memphis has a population of over 670,000, and the Metro area is almost twice that size.

Here are snapshots of the pertinent portions of the CQ Press reports that Forbes has misquoted:

Here is the crime report for the most dangerouse cities in the US:

And here is the crime report for the Metro areas in the US:

I was dismayed to see the CA and every other Memphis news outlet reporting the mis-information that came from Forbes Magazine. It said Memphis was ranked the 2nd most dangerous city in the US, but the fact is; they were misquoting the report. The report (from CQ Press) actually shows the metro area as 2nd most dangerous. That encompasses nine counties, which happen to include Memphis. If you look at the most dangerous cities list, Memphis is ranked 14th, which is a precipitous fall from being number 6 in 2006 and number 8 in 2007 and we are cautiosly optimistic that we will fall even further when the numbers come in this November. As of this morning, our daily tracking showed we are down 10% (year to date) over last year and almost 15% ytd over 2006.

I'm not saying 14th is where we want to be, but it does the officers of the Memphis Police Department a terrible disservice to report that their work is having no effect. Crime is down 10%, in Memphis, year to date, and that is also not being reported. How about correcting the story and reporting that we have made great strides in interdicting crime in Memphis with the same vigor you have mis-reported the facts? The MPD is doing a great job at taking criminals off the streets. The courts, judges and legislature could do much, much more to help keep them off the streets, but they chose not to. The judges hand out bonds on people who have been arrested 10,20,30 or more times as though they were first offenders. The legislature claims there is a "fiscal note" on every piece of anti-crime legislation, using numbers they have pulled from a hat, and the prosecutors appear to be going along with these low bonds.

The MPD has been working about as hard, and smart as we know how, and it appears our work has paid off, even if the media doesn't want to report it. We will continue to test new systems, keep what works, and discard what doesn't. We are pushing the envelope on technology and it is making a difference. I'll more to say about that in the upcoming weeks, when several of us make a trip to Dallas to accept an international award for excellence in Information Technology and Law Enforcement!

The Republicans have always talked about being tough on crime, but their actions belie their words. They will not be passing anything significant this year. It looks to me like all the legislature is of the same party . . . chickens!


Coco said...

Hello! I do not know you, but want to state that I am very proud of you. You are doing a remarkable job of explanation. I wish that every citizen in Memphis would read this. Maybe you need to run for office. You have good insite ,and I agree with your articles. You are so very right about why crime has been on the increase.. Yes, it is our court system, and we need to do everything we can to change that. Thanks and blessings!

John Harvey said...

Thanks for your comment Coco, but I am doing what I enjoy and I am probably not electible as I cannot toe the party line, for either party. I tend to be a maverick in my thoughts and opinions and I rarely sugar coat things. You have to do that to be a politician. So . . . I'll continue doing what I love to do and hopefully people will listen.

Thanks again!


Zippy the giver said...

John, you are probably the biggest help to Memphis within the team.
I think people are scare to believe any good results because there is such a disparity between Number 12 and most cities in the us, we are and before you came into the picture, have historically been 400% over the national average and worse as far as crime most of our stats go, also it's important to not that these stats are from "reported" crime, which could be half of all crime in Memphis.
I hope crime does go down in Memphis.

John Harvey said...

Thanks for the compliment Zippy, but I can't take credit for everything the MPD is doing. Director Godwin is a lot of it. He "gets it" and therefore, we have a Real Time Crime Center, and LPR camera cars, and he lets me have free reign to try new things. My brother, Major Jim Harvey, has had a lot to do with acquiring new technology, brainstorming and overseeing the things we apply for on grants. Sgt Ken Shackleford is our guy on video surveillance and has had a big impact on what we do. Dr. Janikowski and his staff developed the original Blue Crush data initiative, which we have since tweaked and are now tweaking even moreso. Julie Nations, our grant coordinator has also been instrumental in us getting the grants we've obtained, and in administering them. Her husband, Bob Nations, who is over Shelby County's Homeland Security has also been instrumental in getting a lot of technology for the entire MSA, etc. Many people are heavily involved in this process, and that is why we have been effective. I'm just a small cog in the machine.