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Monday, August 11, 2008

Blue C.R.U.S.H. vs. Compstat

Here's the bottom line. Larry Godwin and Richard Janikowski have fooled the taxpayers and maybe the federal government. We all know Blue Flush doesn't work. It's another taxpayer sinkhole and a Director's mismanagement that gives the appearance MPD is fighting crime. The reality is that this program displaces crime for a week or two. To the average citizen, it means crime will be coming to your streets. If you live in a crime free pocket (doubtful in Memphis) the crime will get pushed into your neighborhoods during “Crushing” 2-3 streets over.

To get a good idea of where Larry Godwin plagiarized the Blue Crush "idea", we need to travel to New York, circa 1994. The following information was obtained from the New York City Police Department’s CompStat program and Wikipedia:

CompStat—or COMPSTAT—(short for COMPuter STATistics or COMParative STATistics) is the name given to the New York City Police Department's accountability process and has since been replicated in many other departments.

CompStat is a multilayered dynamic approach to crime reduction, quality of life improvement, and personnel and resource management. CompStat employs Geographic Information Systems and was intended to map crime and identify problems. In weekly meetings, ranking NYPD executives meet with local precinct commanders from one of the eight patrol boroughs in New York City to discuss the problems. They devise strategies and tactics to solve problems, reduce crime, and ultimately improve quality of life in their assigned area.

Among the Command and Control Center's high-tech capabilities is its computerized "pin mapping" which displays crime, arrest and quality of life data in a host of visual formats including comparative charts, graphs and tables. Through the use of geographic mapping software and other computer technology, for example, the CompStat database can be accessed and a precinct map depicting virtually any combination of crime and/or arrest locations, crime "hot spots" and other relevant information can be instantly projected on the Center's large video projection screens. Comparative charts, tables and graphs can also be projected simultaneously.

In some cases, police departments have started offering information to the public through their own Web sites. In other cases, police departments make an XML feed available to the public which is then displayed on a map using systems such as [CrimeReports.com], used by the Metropolitan Police of Washington DC and many other police departments nationwide.

The following information was obtained directly from the MPD’s Blue Crush propaganda campaign:

The successes of the MPD’s Operation Blue CRUSH pilot operation in 2005 suggested a need for a sustained, integrated law enforcement approach in all parts of the city where street crime has adversely affected the quality of life for our citizens.

The successes of the Memphis Police Department’s Operation Blue CRUSH in 2005 suggested a need for a sustained, integrated law enforcement approach in all parts of the city where street crime has adversely affected the quality of life for our citizens. Operation Blue CRUSH 2005 categorically reduced crime in areas of the city where the methodology was implemented. These “hot spots” of crime were identified using statistical data which allowed us to pinpoint concentrations of criminal activity and better direct our resources.

Blue CRUSH utilizes new partnerships with the University of Memphis and takes advantage of cutting edge technology to create multi-layered crime analysis of hot spots based on crime data. Through the Blue CRUSH initiative the MPD has seen a reduction in crime.

With the crime data information provided, the MPD has demanded a higher level of accountability and responsibility from all officers of the department - from the Command Staff to Uniform Patrol.

When Blue CRUSH crime data is analyzed to provide information on the type of crime, day of week, time of day, and the location that the crime is occurring the department is held more accountable and responsible for the crime that occurs across the city. This critical information is used to specifically focus the Memphis Police Department Blue CRUSH resources in new and innovative strategies driven by accountability and responsibility.

Now, what’s this costing the taxpayers? A federal grant in the amount of $2.4 million was given to the U of M and MPD for the Blue Crush data-driven anti-crime initiative. Why are they receiving taxpayer funds for a program that has been around since 1994? Why are the “Laurel and Hardy” of crime fighting trying to trademark someone else’s idea? Why are we spending so much time, effort and money on a flawed program? We’ll let you decide.