19 NYPD members charged with misreporting crimes at 40th Precinct: Bratton

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NEW YORK -- The NYPD is cracking down on it's own -- Commissioner Bratton announced Friday that nineteen members of the 40th Precinct now face administrative charges.

An audit of 2014 crime complaints in the Bronx precinct, including radio call response activity, found 55 instances in which crime complaints allegedly weren't processed.  The flagged complaints were mostly for petit larceny, lost property, misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief or criminal trespass.

The crime statistics at the 40th Precinct have been recalculated in the wake of the findings, from 14% down to 11.4%.

Those charged include one lieutenant, eight sergeants, nine police officers and one detective.  The NYPD Department Advocate is filing charges against them; the commanding officer of the 40th Precinct has been "administratively transferred."

“These disciplinary charges are strict but fair,” said Police Commissioner William Bratton.  Here is his full statement:

"The purposeful misrepresentation of crime data is rare but nevertheless unacceptable, and it will be dealt with accordingly.  Once our internal reporting systems and quality-assurance audit process identified violations of our guidelines, we initiated disciplinary proceedings.  Commanders are held strictly accountable for the integrity of crime complaint reporting within their commands.

Policing in the CompStat era requires that the accuracy of our numbers must be unquestionable.  This is why we improved our audit process soon after I was appointed and continue to seek improvements in this area. These statistics provide the very basis upon which our crime-fighting strategies are formulated and our resources allocated.  I will not tolerate any misconduct that might undermine public confidence in the hard work of the thousands of officers who have made this the safest large city in America.”

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch spoke out Friday, saying that the department had "consistently hammered police officers to reduce felonies to misdemeanors" amid a "serious shortage of police officers over the last decade and a half."

Lynch issued the following statement:

“We agree that crime stats have to be accurate in order to know where and when to assign police resources.  However, because of the serious shortage of police officers over the last decade and a half, management has consistently hammered police officers to reduce felonies to misdemeanors.  It’s an artificial way of keeping felonies down with fewer officers on the street, a problem that we still experience today.  This union has been vocal about the problem since 2004.  Police officers follow the dictates of their bosses or they suffer the consequences.  The PBA will vigorously defend these police officers.”