The Fraternal Order of Police has asked the District City Council to enact legislation that would require the city's police department to use the FBI's crime reporting system in computing their own periodic crime reports.
FOP chairman Gary Hankins said in a letter last week to City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon that such legislation was critical to "set legal standards which could not be ignored with impunity."
Hankins said that although the Metropolitan Police Department already uses the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting system as a guideline, compliance is voluntary and not always the case.
Dixon said yesterday that he is interested in getting comment from the police department and the public on the question. "We are prepared to look at methods that would assure us a more systematic approach to statistics," Dixon said.
The FOP action is a reflection of its continuing disagreement with senior police officials about the compiling of crime reports in the 6th District. Last fall, some officers in the district alleged that Deputy Chief Isaac Fulwood under-reported crime in the district by changing some reports of felonies to misdemeanors.
The matter was investigated, and Police Chief Maurice Turner concluded last May that Fulwood had done nothing wrong. But the FOP has contended that other, earlier reports not as favorable to Fulwood have been ignored.
"Until conformity is a matter of administrative procedure, the department won't be policing itself," Hankins said in his request.
Turner said yesterday that such a law is not needed because the department has been using the FBI reporting system for years. "I'll stack our crime reporting system against that of any city in the United States for accuracy," he said.
Turner also reaffirmed his satisfaction with the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing in Fulwood's district. He said that of more than 200 cases investigated in the 6th District, only "six or eight" might have been classified differently.
Hankins also said city fiscal cutbacks have greatly reduced the number of field inspections in which crime reports were randomly audited. Turner said he has requested authority to hire four civilians to replace the police officers who once conducted reviews of crime reports.