COMPSTAT is a “GIGO” (“garbage in, garbage out”) proposition. But, as police have for years been handcuffed by race-baiters, COMPSTAT has routinely been compromised by false data and lack of political will.
But police commanders are not only handcuffed in implementing COMPSTAT by the pro-crime lobby. They are shot in the back by their own chiefs.
COMPSTAT was initially implemented under NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who had previously run New York’s independent Transit PD (which he then merged into the NYPD), the Boston PD. Since October, 2002, Bratton has run the Los Angeles PD. Bratton instituted COMPSTAT meetings at police headquarters. These became a form of public theater in which he routinely humiliated precinct commanders who had failed to produce the desired “numbers.” “Bad” (read: honest) numbers were career suicide.
Commanders quickly learned what Bratton wanted. And they communicated that knowledge through the ranks.
William Bratton left the NYPD in January 1996, but his model stayed. He and his associates have since spread it across the country. (Bratton’s number two man, John Timoney, was Philadelphia’s police commissioner from 1998-2001.) The result is a police and street culture, in which no one—save perhaps for livery drivers and restaurant deliverymen in poor neighborhoods—has any idea what the true face of crime looks like. But COMPSTAT/broken windows makes for great public relations.
Or at least it did, until the police unions stopped playing ball. In late March, as part of their tactic of negotiating a new labor contract through the media, the New York Police Department’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Sergeants’ Benevolent Association (SBA) attacked the NYPD brass, charging that the city’s miraculously low crime rate has been achieved through—fraudulent arrest statistics.