This morning, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Captain Bruce Bellamy, who heads CMPD's "Metro Division" along with Deputy Chief Kerr Putney and Chief Rodney Monroe will address what they refer to as "incorrect statistics that are circulating that indicate that Charlotte's North Area, is the 11th most dangerous neighborhood in the country."
In an email invitation that was sent to area leaders late yesterday CMPD's Captain Bellamy made a simple request:
"We would like a very strong showing of support to show that the perception that is being portrayed is not shared by those who live and work in this area. Thank you."
The "Press Conference" will be held at the Church at 208 Plymouth Avenue located at the corner of Hobbs and Plymouth. No word if the local media will be on hand.
According to the website http://www.neighborhoodscout.com Charlotte's North Area is an area of several neighborhoods along North Tryon Street -- bounded largely by North Graham Street, Atando Avenue, Brevard Street, and the Brookshire Freeway. It includes the Lockwood and Tryon Hills neighborhoods, along with part of Highland Park. The Charlotte Observer's coverage of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods is here.
According to the website, annual crime statistics in the area show 108.94 crimes per 1,000 residents giving residents a better than 1 in 9 chance of being a crime victim in the area.
The twist or the smoke and mirrors and Chief Monroe's contention is that the report is using flawed data and a different and really wrong geographical area and that North Charlotte is really a much larger area and therefore crime is really down. Really!
If you live by the sword you die by the sword.
Every first year collage student learns in statistics 101, that you can take any group of numbers and with averages and trend lines you can twist the facts to get your point across. The reality is what counts, you can't tell the mother of a 17 year daughter who was murdered that crime is down.
Chief Monroe has put way to much value on numbers instead of police work. The whole department is a number driven accounting firm, where promotions and demotions are based on numbers and not real results.
Do the numbers matter? Of course, but when you keep patting yourself on the back based solely on numbers don't expect people to stand by you when the numbers go the other way.
Update: According to the Charlotte Observer CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe will release numbers in an effort to refute the findings. You can read more from the Observer here. However it is clear that comparing the two studies is like comparing apples and onions.