Godwin: Report gives flawed view of city's crime rate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Godwin: Report gives flawed view of city's crime rate

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis' top cop took issue Tuesday with a recent report that lists the city's crime rate as one of the highest in the nation.  Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin told a Memphis City Council Committee he hoped to clear the air once and for all about the city's crime ranking.

"It really gives a bad picture of our great city that's not true," he said.

In a recent report, CQ Press listed the eight county Memphis metro area as having the second highest crime rate in the nation, based on 2008 data.  Tuesday, University of Memphis criminologist Richard Janikowski said CQ's data is flawed.

"It's methodologically problematic and inaccurate," Janikowski said. "No one who understands statistical analysis believes it."

Janikowski and Godwin said some cities count their crime stats differently than Memphis does, and some don't report their stats at all.  Godwin said that is against the law, even though the law isn't being enforced.

"We're doing it because that's what the law says," Godwin said. "We're doing it right.  If everyone did it like we do it, we wouldn't be in the top 10. We wouldn't be in the top 20."

Godwin told Council members it's better to compare the city to itself, saying crime is down 17 percent when compared with 2006, when the police department's Blue CRUSH initiative first went citywide.

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