The Denver Police Department has discovered problems with 1,000 of its crime reports, prompting an investigation into who is responsible for the errors and whether someone intentionally fudged the numbers.
Inaccurate data or false reporting can damage a department’s credibility, said Jim Ponzi, an associate professor of criminology at Regis University in Denver who has researched crime reporting and its impact across the United States.
“The biggest thing of all is how do you stop crime if your statistics are inaccurate?” Ponzi said Tuesday. “Where do you dedicate your resources if you don’t have baseline data?”
For now, the department is unable to finalize its 2017 annual crime report as it digs into why the numbers are flawed and who is responsible, said Sonny Jackson, a police department spokesman.