Whose Crime Numbers Are Right, The FBI’s or a Local Agency’s?

FBI Badge & gun.

NOTE: I am a huge fan of data and the analysis of data as it relates to laser specific allocations of police resources. A site that I follow and enjoy is the Crime Analyst’s Blog. Give it a look.

Anyway, Scott Dickson posted this piece below about the city of Denver disputing their reported crime data as listed by the FBI. The kick is; the FBI credited them with lower levels of crime, but Denver says; Hold On!! Our crime is much higher..  Who is right?

Whose Crime Numbers Are Right, The FBI’s or a Local Agency’s?

This piece over at the Denver Post has me a bit befuddled. In the piece they state that the FBI’s crime stats show Denver’s crime was headed downward while Denver PD’s crime numbers show it’s going up. This is where it really gets weird with DPD claiming their crime stats are accurate while the FBI’s aren’t.

Colorado police departments send crime reports to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, which then submits them to the federal government. Certain errors, such as minor problems with an officer’s report, can cause CBI to reject the entire report, Murray said.

A CBI spokeswoman did not return a call Monday night.
“There is no accountability for the data. It’s uniform, but it’s uniformly wrong . … Our data is much more accurate because we require that,” Murray said.
Via The Denver Post

Let me get this right, Denver PD sends their crime data to the state of Colorado CBI, which then in turn sends it on to the FBI, but somewhere along the way the FBI data became inaccurate? If, as they claim, an officer’s report has problems that cause it to be rejected, is their data really that accurate (even if they “require that”) if it contained these erroneous reports that will later be rejected by CBI?

Denver Police Department

What I really find unusual about this story is that DPD is asserting that Denver crime is worse than the FBI makes it out to be. Usually when an agency complains that the FBI’s data is wrong it’s the other way around, the FBI’s data showing their city to be worse off than the local agency says it is.

This whole story is just weird.


  1. You’re right…….. it does sound weird, however, another “government” run agency, whether it be State or Federal….. once again, not run properly. You would think this report alone would be a “heads up” to someone in the State.

  2. It doesn’t sound weird. It makes perfect sense – this one is politics. Looking at it from the typical left/right angle, there’s a Republican in the woodpile that has to go. This is overly simplistic of course – Democrats throw each other under the bus all of the time. Long story short, my old attorney (misspent youth) was a good guy but too politically ambitious so a sex scandal was fabricated by his competitor. Didn’t matter if nothing stuck, the damage was done. Happens all the time. This one has that smell to it, probably take a few months to tie it back to something political, but whenever you see something that makes you scratch your head in wonderment, politics are usually not far behind.

    1. Meant for the left/right thing to be less lopsided on my account… Politicians are politicians, and that’s about all that need be stated – I was taking the political leanings of Denver into account for the way that my comment leaned.

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