LASD Crime Stats Back Online; Still Unclear Who Ordered Them Taken Down

Three months after LASD removed crime statistics from the internet without any public involvement or notice they are now back up, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Department states it removed the stats because they reflected the crimes as deputies classified them on reports and may not reflect what others along the chain of command might reclassify them to later on.  Which is probably good because if they reflected cases actually taken to trial, LA County would look a lot like Mayberry.  It remains totally unclear who gave the order to take the crime stats down, why the public wasn’t consulted or notified, and whether anything has been done over the last three months to manipulate how crime stats are reported going forward.

This seems like a pretty flimsy argument to us: most crimes are pretty straightforward and most deputies have a pretty good idea what they’re doing.  Beyond that, all are reviewed and approved by a sergeant, at a minimum.  Withholding data from the community because a detective may later reclassify something is pretty weak.  Actually, withholding the data until it can be managed merely increases the chances that it will be manipulated, LAPD-style (allegedly) (and allegedly here, too).

It’s unclear if the Department changed anything about how the statistics are gathered or managed during the three months they were being withheld from the community, though there is now a disclaimer stating that the information is for “informational purposes only”…which, being information, seems sort of weird.

Anyhow, the crime stats are back up and you can find them here.

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