Morning Poll: Does Review of Phoenix Kidnapping Stats Vindicate Former Police Chief Jack Harris

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Jack Harris, it turns out, is not a statistic-inflating liar.
Former Phoenix police Chief Jack Harris was forced out of office because of allegations that his department inflated kidnapping statistics to obtain extra federal bucks. However, a panel reviewing the Phoenix's kidnapping numbers found that no fraud was committed and the numbers weren't inflated.

In fact, the panel found there were twice as many cases -- 668 instead of 358 -- identified that fit the criteria of a border-related kidnappings during the year in question.

So, is Harris vindicated?

On the one hand, he didn't lie about the number of kidnappings in the city to get more federal funding. On the other, his office managed to bungle the numbers so badly that only about half of the kidnappings in Phoenix were recorded as such. Not to mention the several other SNAFUs that occurred within the department under his watch (Richard Chrisman, we're looking in your direction).

The panel attributes the mistake to the PPD's aging, and very limited, computer system -- officers logging reports can only enter one crime code -- leaving them to choose between several possible choices and often leaving kidnapping off the list.

Harris didn't lie, it turns out, but is he vindicated even though the numbers were still way off?

We want to know what you think -- cast your vote below.

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7 comments
Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Who and what is this panel?    Why feel sorry for Harris?      His past corruption is cause enough for him to be gone.    Funny how a "panel" found this out but independent parties found just the opposite.    Moving numbers is fun.    Obvious to see who NewTimes backed.

Guest
Guest

I feel terrible for Mr. Harris.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Mr. Harris was long overdue to move on. The kidnapping issue was simply the catalyst to make that move happen. The day Frank Fairbanks retired Mr. Harris lost his protection. It's very common for new managers to replace department heads... it's all part of the political game that allowed Mr. Harris to become chief in the first place, then public safety manager, then chief, then public safety manager, ad nauseum...

Mr. Harris should take some time to reflect on his good luck in his career, and his accomplishments, and take up mountain biking. It will help keep him young..

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