More than 100 retired New York Police Department captains and higher-ranking officers told surveyors that the intense pressure to produce annual crime reductions led some supervisors and precinct commanders to manipulate crime statistics, two criminologists studying the department tell the New York Times. The totals for seven major crime categories provided via the CompStat program to the FBI, whose reports are used by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to compare New York favorably to other cities.
Some officers checked eBay and other sites to find prices for items that had been reported stolen that were lower than the value provided by the victim. They would then use the lower values to reduce reported thefts valued at more than $1,000 to misdemeanors, which are not rreported as serious crimes. The report was done by retired police captain John Eterno, now of Long Island’s Molloy College, and Eli Silverman, formerly of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Police Department disputed the survey’s findings, questioned its methodology, and pointed to other reviews of CompStat that it said supported its position.