In January, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly promised to release the results of what he called an independent examination of the city’s crime statistics. He said the effort by three former federal prosecutors would take six months.
Well, it’s been exactly six months, and still no word from 1 Police Plaza, a structure so opaque it’s sometimes known as the Puzzle Palace.
On Jan. 5, Kelly appointed the so-called Crime Reporting Review Committee–made up of Robert Morvillo, Sharon McCarthy, and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District David Kelley.
At the time, Kelley told the Daily News that he’d gotten promises of full access to talk to precinct police officers, and the okay to attend Compstat meetings, where precinct commanders are sharply questioned about their crime strategies.
At the time, critics were skeptical that the committee, made up of lawyers with a lot already on their plates, could devote the time necessary to obtain a ground-level view of manipulation of crime reports.
The move was seen as the latest step by Kelly to try to blunt criticism of the accuracy of the crime stats that has followed last year’s Voice series, which exposed secret tape recordings of police supervisors in a Brooklyn precinct telling officers not to take crime reports.
In recent months, Kelly has transferred a precinct commander, charged him and four other supervisors with failing to take crime reports, transferred a deputy chief, and appointed a deputy inspector to reinvestigate manipulation of crime reports in Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct and elsewhere.
Kelly has also altered the way sex crimes are investigated, and increased the size of detective squads specifically trained to handle such cases.
Most recently, Kelly released statistics on lower level crimes after having withheld them from the public for more than eight years, again, to blunt criticism of the crime stats.
In a somewhat related development, we are awaiting word on movement by the Queens District Attorney’s office in a possible investigation of the treatment of Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft. Prosecutors and Schoolcraft’s lawyer were said to be meeting early this month. After reporting allegations of crime stat manipulation, Schoolcraft was dragged from his apartment by police and forcibly placed in the Jamaica Hospital Psychiatric Ward for six days.