Posted: Jun 24, 2011 9:29 PM EDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new audit of the Metro Police Department found that its crime statistics were reasonably reported and not intentionally manipulated.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean asked for the internal audit after a news report showed discrepancies in the trends and crime-solving rates reported by the police department, compared to those reported by other agencies.
The Internal Audit Division of the Metro Government visited the police department and accessed all data and randomly interviewed personnel.
The audit found the police department’s reporting to be within the accepted 10% margin of error.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said, “The data we publish to the public is reasonably accurate, as accurate as it can be. It’s always subjective, and of course, all we know is what’s reported to us.”
Chief Anderson said crime has decreased in the list five or six years.
“There’s always peaks and valleys,” he said, “but overall, about 15% down, and this audit supports the fact that our data is correct and our data is reasonably stated.”
He said the audit does show room for improvement.
Chief Anderson said, “We can do better. We now know where our missteps are. A great portion of it was the computer errors… that didn’t transmit, so automatically, we’re down to 7%.”
The audit revealed that some information was not properly transmitted to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, but Chief Anderson says that problem has now been fixed.
Chief Anderson said, “It’s always good to have an outside entity to come in and comb through your procedures, so internal audit has made some suggestions, and we, for the most part, have adopted each one of those.”
He said the police department would follow recommendations made to continue training on report writing.
He added the audit division found each branch of the police department to be working as it should, but recommended that one person oversee everything to make sure it all matches up.
Chief Anderson said an experienced person has since been put into such a position.