Let’s talk numbers.
I took a statistics class in college where my professor convinced a class of more than 100 that the world was flat based on percentages, averages and graphs. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. He produced five charts showing five ways of measuring the average elevation above sea level from Annapolis Maryland to Denver. Because the numbers never when down no mater how far you went toward the "mile high" city the only answer was that was either Denver's elevation was wrong or the world was flat.
He stood before all of us, many with 4.0 GPA’s and asked; “With only the information before you, how many now believe the world is flat?” And everyone raised their hands.
So while citizen’s of Charlotte believe the “numbers” from King Rodney the sad fact is that those who died last year are still dead. Those who had their homes broken into are still recovering and those where robbed, beaten or raped are still traumatized.
RoMo's numbers as he has reported them are here. (For the record I don't want to take anything away from the CMPD officers who do the work, those who make up the thin blue line. What you do is very much appreciated)
Across the US crime is down, something that Chief Monroe now begrudgingly admits.
Violent crime in Los Angeles hit its lowest level in more than half a century last year, one of a growing number of U.S. cities reporting its streets were remarkably safe in 2009.
Washington, D.C., finished the year with 143 killings, the lowest tally in the nation's capital since 1966. San Francisco reported 45 (vs Charlotte’s 56) homicides last year, its lowest in 48 years.
Who would have taught that San Francisco would be “safer” than Charlotte?
Charlotte’s population of 687,000 with 56 murders gives a 8.15 rate per 100 thousand, where San Francisco with 808,000 gives a 5.56 rate per 100 thousand.
San Antonio, Austin, San Diego, Honolulu all cities nearly the size of Charlotte have murder rates nearly 1/2 that of Charlotte.
New York, Chicago, Boston and Dallas also reported dramatic year-over-year declines in 2009 compared with 2008.
Los Angeles had 314 homicides in 2009 -- the lowest number of killings since 1967, Los Angeles also saw declines in rapes, robberies and assaults in 2009, compared with the previous year.
Violent crimes nationwide -- including homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault -- have been shrinking since 2007, after a slight increase in 2006, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Reported statistics showed the greatest drop in cities with populations greater than a million people.
Experts believe the fall in violent crime is tied to the aging U.S. population.
"The graying of America is a significant factor," said James Alan Fox, Lipman Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston. "The largest and fastest growing segment of the population is people over 50. People over 50 also happen to be the age group that is the least likely to commit crimes. As the group grows, crime rates do decline."
So how does Charlotte stack up to the nation?
Despite what Chief Monroe is saying, his “aggressive” tactics, wild spending, and reshuffling of CMPD staff and funny new uniform is not paying off.
In fact our murder rate (8.15) is higher per 100,000 than New York (5.58) or San Jose (3.04), and our burglary rate is nearly twice that of New York.
So what gives? Well it’s all in the numbers. RoMo is showing you the numbers his way.
We call it "cooking" the books. The only trouble is eventually it catches up with you.
If Rodney Monroe claims a 50% reduction in murders one year and the next year the number of murders return to the prior year’s number, he’ll have a 100% increase in homicides. Leading his detractors to claim that down 50 and up 100 equals an increase of 50% overall. (Aren't Numbers Fun?) Then how many will call for his firing?
The number that Monroe doesn’t report is the number of arrests. More cops, spending more money, should result in more arrests. But it hasn't. A quick check on the CMPD web site shows once again that number is blank.
So where does he spend all the money? I'd guess Christmas parties, funny uniforms and take home cars.
So you have to ask yourself, with all the drama, the hype and the circus atmosphere at CMPD are we getting our monies's worth?