|Reverand Brown at an Anti-Violence Rally this summer.|
Well remember, this is a positive announcement that has to do with Hartford. When that happens it is time for the naysayers, most certainly not Hartford residents, ( I would venture to guess not even regular visitors to Hartford or any other city for that matter) to immediately denounce the announcement and call Hartford a hellhole, usually followed by some disparaging remarks about minorities.
It is unquestionably easy to manipulate statistics to ones advantage. Give us a set of statistics and we'll return you a half dozen graphs all appearing to say different things. Does every town classify police incidences in way that can be viewed as favorable? Of course they do. So when stating that the drop in Hartford's crime rate is solely based on statistical manipulation one is making quite a few assumptions.
First one is assuming that wholesale statistical manipulation is something new. Like Roberts and Segarra were the first ones to figure out "hey, if we classify this as Crime A instead of Crime B, it won't show up as a serious crime at the end of the year." This isn't a new concept and given that the previous Mayor has been proven to be somewhat deficient in the ethics department, I think we can safely assume that this tactic has been thought of by Hartford politicians before.
That brings us to the second assumption; how far could the statistical manipulation possibly go? Crime is not a new thing to Hartford. If Mayors and Police Chiefs have been "juking the stats" for years wouldn't it get to the point of absurdity if they just kept doing more and more statistical manipulation every year? Sure you can reclassify "X" amount of crimes one year. Then you can reclassify X+Y in year two, Then in year three you can probably reclassify X+Y+W, but at some point you are going to run out of room. The reality is that there is almost certainly an acceptable range to play with the numbers that every town and municipality operates within.
Without being an expert or privy to the statistics, the homicide number seems like a good number to look at. The report released tells us that there were 34 homicides in Hartford in 2009 and 25 in 2010. That has to be good. Does anyone want to posit that they are hiding the bodies somewhere? Perhaps classifying homicides as suicides or accidents? Sure, I guess it is possible that some psychotic "muscle" types are out there stacking up bodies in vacants around the city, but it's our guess that the homicide stat is a pretty solid one to go off of.
Mayor Segarra has stated that "one crime is one crime too many." While eradicating crime is never going to happen, it sure seems like the goal we should be striving for. While Hartford still has a long way to go in fighting and deterring crime, we give credit where credit is due and let the constant stream of suburban denouncement fall on dear ears. Believe it or not, progress is possible in Hartford.