L.A. must comply with uniform stats

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsDuring that time, there was tremendous pressure to change the way law enforcement dealt with domestic violence. Traditionally, domestic violence had been treated as a family matter and often ignored by many aspects of society, including the police. Reform was much needed and, indeed, occurred. In fact, domestic violence became one of the priorities in policing and arrests, and prosecutions skyrocketed. As a consequence of this increased attention, the LAPD made an internal reporting decision that led us to the current controversy. That decision was to take all reported domestic-violence incidents and categorize them as Part One Crimes, irrespective if they fit the criteria for that crime class. For the next 20-plus years, the LAPD over-reported Part One crimes to the federal government, virtually negating the system used to measure crime nationwide. The decision to classify all domestic violence incidents as Part One crime was wrong. To go beyond UCR guidelines completely defeats the purpose for which the system was created and makes meaningful measurement of crime patterns or trends between various cities or states impossible. Our goal in Los Angeles is to become the safest big city in America. How can we measure progress toward that goal without a common method of measurement? The LAPD remains committed to the reduction and serious investigation of domestic violence. We have not made recent changes in our response and handling of these type crimes nor have we stopped tracking these incidents. Domestic-violence statistics are still available to any and all who want them. We take crime reporting and crime reduction very seriously. In 2005, we reduced violent crime by more than 11,000 incidents, and even allowing for the 5,000 reclassified domestic-violence crimes, achieved a significant crime reduction of well over 10 percent. Year to date for 2006, we are at an 11.9 percent reduction in Part One crime. Chief Bratton invented the COMPSTAT process, and one of the tenets is “Timely and Accurate Intelligence.” We use accurate intelligence to assign and direct scarce police resources. Without accurate statistics, we will never achieve our goal of making the people of Los Angeles the safest in the nation. George Gascon is assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHEN William Bratton became chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, he inherited a department with leadership issues, weak morale and a tarnished image. He also inherited a department that did not keep crime statistics properly. This is why the LAPD has had to reclassify some of its crime data in recent years. More than 80 years ago, the federal government adopted what is called a Uniform Crime Report. Just as the name suggests, this is a system designed to overcome the myriad ways in which the 50 states report crime. The purpose was, and is, to allow direct comparison between cities and states by providing a consistent, clearly defined set of criteria for crime reporting. One of the categories created is called “aggravated assault.” By definition, aggravated assaults are classified as “an attack for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury, usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or means likely to produce death or great bodily injury.” These aggravated assaults are classified as “Part One” crimes by UCR. All other assaults are classified as “Part Two” crimes. Most assaults, including crimes of domestic violence, fall into the Part Two crime category based on the guidelines of the UCR. This all seems straightforward until you get to the early 1980s. last_img read more