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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

MPD Training? Now?

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Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has ordered 70 members of his department receive training on FBI crime reporting standards. The employees will each undergo two full days of basic training. They are now being trained on something they have been doing for years.

The increased training comes, not coincidentally, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered the Milwaukee Police Department had misclassified more than 500 violent assaults as lesser crimes, and identified more than 800 other cases that fit the same pattern.  

After the Journal Sentinel investigation, the MPD conducted an internal audit and found more than 5300 serious assaults were underreported and 1200 assaults were overreported. The department's own review indicates that 20% of aggravated assaults were incorrectly reported as less serious offenses. That is ten times what the FBI considers acceptable.

So now after being called on the carpet by the newspaper, the Chief has decided to train his people on a system that they have been using for years. Am I missing something here? Shouldn't they have been trained before they started using the system?

The Chief says his officers were never properly trained on FBI coding because they were busy focusing on solving crimes and arresting suspects. Can't they multi-task? I am really confused.  The implication seems to be that they can't do both.  Does that mean that while the officers go through the training later this summer that there will no longer be crime solving or suspect arresting?

I don't think I could get away with telling my boss that the things I said on the radio weren't accurate because I was concentrating on pushing the right buttons. If I worked in the Milwaukee Police Department that might be acceptable, but here at Radio City, not so much.

What are your thoughts?

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