Mark Spencer's PLEA Supported Kidnapping Stats

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From PLEA's RECAP newsletter, dated June 2008

As I've pointed out in my cover story this week on Phoenix Law Enforcement Association president Mark Spencer and his sleazy ways, PLEA swallowed the Phoenix Police Department's controversial kidnapping stats whole hog at one time. Long before they used them to bash ex-Police Chief Jack Harris as corrupt.

Now like some third-rate Joe McCarthy wannabes, Spencer and his goons are using the faulty numbers to go after other PPD officers. This time, they're targeting PPD Lieutenant Lauri Burgett, insinuating that a production company she had incorporated for seven months in 2010 is the real reason the kidnapping stats were bad.

But wait, I thought it was because Harris was corrupt? After all, didn't Harris single-handedly skew the numbers to win a $1.7 million federal grant to help fight crime, even though he didn't score any of that loot himself?

Nah, now it's all because Burgett wanted to make money on a production company.

Ooooh-kay.

Anyway, check this passage from the latest post by PLEA on its Web site, the one aimed  at Burgett:

"One border-related kidnapping a week in Phoenix was a serious problem that deserved federal investment.  A question that continues to pop up is: What would be the reason to inflate kidnapping numbers to present the problem as one border related kidnapping every day?"

Of course, what PLEA never explains is why the union and Mark Spencer did their best to  promote those numbers. Ditto Sergeant Phil Roberts, whom the PLEA newsletter RECAP referenced as an authority in June of 2008.

At that time, Roberts was not the "whistleblower" PLEA and its media partners hail him as today for criticizing the stats as inflated. No, sir. In 2008, Roberts was pimping those numbers, telling anyone who would listen that Phoenix was the "kidnapping capital" of the country.

And PLEA's muck-a-mucks accepted the kidnapping stats without question, and offered up those stats to PLEA's members as 100 percent legit.

PLEA trustee Ken Crane went so far as to pen a piece for RECAP on a kidnapping seminar where Roberts and Sergeant Alex Ortiz gave a two hour presentation. The title is rendered in large, bold letters: "PHOENIX AZ, KIDNAP CAPITAL USA."     

Check this factoid related by Crane, related without a hint of skepticism:

"Phoenix now holds the dubious honor of being the kidnap capital of the U.S. In the past year there were 359 kidnappings that occurred in Phoenix and every one of them was tied to illegal immigration in one way or another. It is estimated that only 1/3 of the total kidnappings that occur are actually reported."         

As I mention in this week's feature, Crane uses the "kidnap capital" line to push a hard stance against illegal immigration, stating that, "we either pay for it on the front end or pay for it on the back end," and, "right now we're paying heavily on the back end because we've refused to be proactive on the front end."

Indeed, Spencer and PLEA have exploited the kidnapping stats to beat the nativist drum at least up until May of last year, when Spencer regurgitated the "kidnap capital" line before a crowd of thousands at Diablo Stadium in Tempe during a Tea Party rally there.

To borrow PLEA's query, what would be Spencer's reason to hustle inflated kidnapping stats? 

Well, bigotry, for one...

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9 comments
Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

What about the concept of the union actually supporting the police agency? The immigration issue has NOTHING to do with employment issues, but it seems one small minded man is making it into something that time and energy should not be wasted on. Imagine how effective the police agency could be if the union was supporting it....

Flopez66
Flopez66

Stephen why do you continue to defend Phoenix PD management? Harris and Burgett seemed to have started this, so why do you not blame them for the hate? I agree the Kidnapping Capital title was used to spread hatred but why do you defend those who started it? If Phoenix Police hadn't started with the kidnapping epidemic others could not have used it. Doesn't bother you Burgett was trying to profit from propagating myth which leads to more hate and intolerance? How about the money she was purported to have made on overtime? Maybe you really don't care about immigrants and are more interested in personal vendettas. At least Monica Alonzo seems to get the whole picture instead of a childish tiff with a select few.

Native Guns
Native Guns

Clearly that traitor and criminal defender--Mark Spencer and his KKKorrupt PLEA, are all about extreme politiKKKs, rather than about the public safety and real law enforcment. Its quite obvious the bigot doesn't care about LE nor the PPD as a whole. His vendetta is getting the way of those who bravely enforce the laws. I say he is more of a complete distraction and may be putting the general public at utter risks. He's despisable at best.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Well of course its McCarthyism.

One thing that's been proven over and over in Phoenix - if you have no clue what you actually should be doing and no plan as to how you might accomplish it, you can always bash immigrants instead and everyone will be on board with it.

We should call it "Barry Wong syndrome."

K66
K66

Excellent story.

Spencer didn't just swallow PPD numbers. A Lexis/Nexis search reveals that he was one of the main promulgators of the "kidnapping capital" meme. (And June 2008, the date of Ken Crane's RECAP article, was precisely when the story took off.) KPHO first reported the claim on Spencer's authority. It got injected into the national discourse in no small part through him, his friends in talk radio (e.g. Darrell Ankarlo, JD Hayworth), and their friends nationally (e.g., Ankarlo's pal, Glenn Beck, who flogged it aggressively).

Truthhurts
Truthhurts

Tommy's right!!!! Just imagine how effective a police agency could be if unions supported it. Yep...blind obedience. Doesn't matter if upper management shits on the union contract, doesn't matter if the chief retires then 1 week later wears the same uniform and is called chief and double dips, doesn't matter if the Department of Justice is now giving a colonoscopy to the PPD over misappropriation of federal funds. Doesn't matter that PPD Management told EVERYONE kidnapping audits were done - verified-vetted-and complete only to find out none of that was true. Doesn't matter that a police commander lied during an internal investigation only to have it covered-up because he plays basketball with Jack Harris. Doesn't matter that a female assistant chief tried to use her power and authority to call an on duty Gilbert PD Officer to try to get a DUI charge dismissed on a PPD Lieutenant who was just arrested for said DUI. Doesn't matter that for years street cops were out gunned on the street and only last week PPD FINALLY capitulated to allow officers to buy their own rifles. Doesn't matter that an assistant chief went into a verbal tirade at the PLEA Office yelling and screaming at a civilian employee of PLEA to such an extent that he had to be formally "trespassed" from the building and finally - It doesn't matter that the Public Safety Manager/Police Chief can go before the news media on a Charlie Sheen melt down moment and say "If you want these stars, you're gonna have to take them because I'm not giving them to you."

Yep...Tommy's right. None of that is important, only the sanctity and the reputations of the PPD Elite and to be damned with the rest. Thanks Tommy for reminding us all of that and how your own agency in Colorado was run. :)

Pxjustice
Pxjustice

I'm sure whatever the Lt earned is egregiously surpassed by what the detectives earn. so if the Lt is profiting off false investigations, what are the detectives that Spencer serves doing??? That is a grand conspiracy for fools and BIGOTS

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I guess in this case one could say that Spencer was Barry, Barry, Wong. From start to finish.

Truthdude, that was just an old guy joke. You won't understand.

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