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Chicago crime much worse than reported by Chicago Police Department

Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of Chicago Police, (L) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (R)
Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of Chicago Police, (L) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (R)
Huffington Post

Chicago crime has been grossly underreported according to an audit conducted by a top watchdog group in Chicago. The report asserts that the Chicago Police Department did not report approximately 25 percent of the city’s aggravated assault and aggravated battery victims in its crime statistics, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Monday night.

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As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy continually boast of improvement in Chicago’s crime, the report says that in 2012 the Chicago Police Department did not follow Illinois state guidelines in gathering their data for crime reports. The report says that the department did not count each aggravated assault or aggravated battery as one incident. The Illinois state guidelines require each victim to be counted and reported upon. Naturally, by not following the guidelines, Chicago has underreported every one of the criminal incidents that involved more than one victim.

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Of major concern is that the Chicago Police Department admits that it has misreported aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries without counting all the victims in one incident for many years. The bottom line is that the skewed method in which Chicago has been releasing crime data to the FBI and Illinois State Police - which includes crime data involving nonfatal shootings - has been underreported and quite inaccurate for a long time.

Even reported inaccurately, Chicago’s crime data is not considered good by many persons. And now to find that Chicagoans have basically been misled by the reports of shooting incidents as opposed to the required data stating the number of shooting victims.

Just last weekend, there were a couple of shooting incidents in Chicago which involved 6 or more victims. Such incidents are not uncommon.

A Chicago Tribune report says that in the first half of 2013, more than 1,000 victims had been shot in Chicago while a much lower number was released by the Chicago Police Department because it was again only reporting shooting incidents.

Somehow, a report by IG did not find that the city’s crime-reporting errors were intentional. Yet, there are those who believe that Chicago has been trying to make itself look better by deflecting shootings and crime data. When lists have been compiled and published by various research outlets stating the most dangerous cities in the United States, Chicago is quite often “not” on the list. The researchers are quick to acknowledge that Chicago has been among the major cities – along with New York City and Los Angeles - that have not turned in their data on time to be included in the lists. Apparently, these cities’ employees responsible for reporting data are not doing their jobs in a timely manner – or, the cities simply do not want the negative spotlight by not parting with data in a timely fashion to make such listings.

Of the current situation, Superintendent Garry McCarthy blames former Superintendent Jody Weis for not changing the way it tracks the aggravated batteries and aggravated assaults.

For the accurate record, Weis has been gone from the department for almost three years. McCarthy was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and has had the job since a short time after Emanuel took office in 2011.

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