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Monday, August 1, 2011

CMPD Fuzzy Math and Crime

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department released a “2011 CMPD Citizen Survey “ last week, complete with accompanying exclusive interview on a local TV station, which seemed nothing more than a promotional piece to sing the praises of Chief Rodney Monroe, no matter what.  There was no analysis of the data.  There were no hard-hitting questions.  Right or wrong, it seemed everyone in the room was of one purpose…  so let me pose a question to Rodney Monroe:

If the “vast majority of those surveyed has a positive impression of CMPD”, as this PR fluff piece by WSOC tried to help Monroe convey, then why did 80% state that they needed better police protection?     (See question #12 “The need for Police has increased in the past year”)

Statistical analysis requires proper data to begin with.   Calculating 650 as the proper number of random participants requires that you confirm they are indeed properly randomized from the study population. 

Skewing the data toward those who are available to speak by landline negates the validity of the data.  Add to that, 45% of the respondents are listed as living in the Southeast Division, and check the income levels…  
And, 72% live in a single-family detached home, with another 11% in a condo or townhome. 

Any one of these things means you need more data to be accurate… BUT WAIT, THERE’s MORE.

On some questions, there are as few as 19 people shown as “able to respond.”  Even on the questions where they threw out only 40 or 50 answers out of 650, the numbers make no sense on a population study of approximately 800,000.  Asking 27 victims of violent crime about their experience with police in order to rate themselves when there are nearly 1 MILLION calls to 911 per year seems completely preposterous. 

In short, this survey is a junk science, taxpayer-funded promotional piece put together to benefit Rodney Monroe and his cronies.  

There’s an extra question this year, and don’t forget we are paying for the survey, to ask the following question:  “Have you seen police patrolling in your neighborhood in the past year?” 

Are they serious? 

And the answer to that question is presented on a huge pie chart on a page all by itself.  Guess what: 76% of people able to answer have seen a police car in their neighborhood at some point in the last year.  Brilliant use of taxpayer money to find that out.
Other very notable presentation pages seem to be desperately clamoring for women and for minorities to fill out the ranks—maybe in a specific capacity.  Could this be related as well to the sudden mandatory pictures by all officers in a CMPD yearbook to be produced and published (at even further expense)?

It seems like the whole completely-without-charm offensive may be designed to support an upcoming announcement regarding long-rumored personnel changes.

If not, a real leader and Police Chief would be more concerned about Murder, Rape, Home Invasions, Break-Ins, and the fact that 80% of people (607 answered) either strongly agree (54%) or agree (26%) and even more rated ‘mid-range’ (13%)  feel the need for more police presence. 

·       Fear of Break-ins and Burglary JUMPED from  25%  in 2008 to  38%  in 2011

·       Fear of Assault, Rape,  & Robbery SKYROCKETED from  12%  in 2008 to  37%  in 2011

·       Fear of Murder has gone up, too

Those numbers should be the topics of a conversation about perception of safety.  But this Chief doesn’t seem very good with accurate numbers so far.

 Read the complete CMPD Survey Report here 

WSOCTV story here


  1. Great investigating!!! Pls contact me.

  2. Is anyone surprised? Ruttmutt stays as fuzzy....