Friday, February 18, 2011

More on the Police Statistics

It's a very good thing that next week at the Commission Meeting on February 22, 2011 (7:30 PM at the Lexi) the NBV Police Statistics will be presented. They are already in the detailed agenda, available through yesterday's post here. See pages 14 & 15 on the document.

Because I like to analyze, I took the figures and transcribed them to a spreadsheet, seen below.

The statistics show what we already knew but could not state objectively - crime in North Bay Village is far lower than the surrounding areas, Miami-Dade at large and most other urban areas our size. That's good news, very good news.

By the way, this was also the case last March (2010) when these stats were last published.

The next step is to go deeper. With the information published, we know what didn't happen - high crime. The city needs to know more to plan for the future and to properly steward the police department.

Is the low crime a result of certain activities on the police department's part? Do increased patrols and higher visibility reduce crime? Is the next step a revival of the Crime Watch? Is this maybe all an accident of demographics and geography? Do we need to maintain the level of service we currently have?

None of those questions can be reasonably answered without going to the next step. We need to see more data on process rather than incidents - e.g. how many patrols are done daily? How many community meetings? What types of officer initiated reports are there? and equally important, how we compare on these things to other similar cities? Key Biscayne might be a candidate, or Surfside, or Miami Shores. They all have higher crime rates than we do. What are we doing that's better than them? Let's do more of it.

I don't know why this information took so long to get. This is exactly the sort of information that should be on our website, the police should be bragging about it not hiding it. But I'm glad it's finally out there and hope to see it each month. It's the only way the city can make rational and informed decisions in tight budget times.

Kevin Vericker
February 19, 2011

Police Statistics as Reported by NBVPD

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