Is Paso Robles fabricating crime statistics?

February 23, 2012

Lisa Solomon

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” — Phrase popularized by Mark Twain

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon is proclaiming a dramatic drop in crime under her watch, but the numbers she provides to back up her claim don’t match those furnished by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI.

Local law enforcement agencies regularly report accumulated crime numbers to the DOJ which sends them on to the FBI.

Solomon claims credit for an 11.7 percent drop in the city’s crime rate since she became chief in 2007. However, according to FBI crime totals for Paso Robles from 2007 through 2010, the eight major crime categories have risen an average of 2.2 percent per year and violent crimes such as assaults, rapes, and murders have actually increased 16.74 percent over four years. (Data for 2011 is not yet available.)

City officials have provided data that appears to show the total numbers for major crimes in Paso Robles from 2002 to 2006 were higher than totals provided to CalCoastNews by the Justice Department and the FBI. Then, immediately after Solomon became chief, crime totals provided by the city were significantly lower than those the city reported to the DOJ and the FBI.

Crime statistics can vary slightly between what is reported by the DOJ and the FBI because of the difference in federal and state government classifications of crimes such as rape, according to officials from the FBI, the DOJ and local law enforcement. However, in these cases, the numbers reported by the DOJ and the FBI are primarily the same, and simply do not coincide with numbers the city provided as its FBI report numbers.

The crime statistic discrepancy comes amid swirling allegations that Solomon sexually assaulted several of her officers; the claim of a drop in crime has been offered by Solomon to local media outlets as evidence of her job performance.

Solomon responded to a CalCoastNews public records request by delivering a graph showing Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) from the FBI’s reported crime numbers for Paso Robles from 2002 through 2011. The graph appears to support Solomon’s claim that the city’s crime rate has dropped 11.7 percent since she became chief.

However, while many of the crime numbers align with the FBI’s reported numbers, large discrepancies in burglaries are common, with as many as 54 more burglaries a year reported before Solomon was appointed chief.

In comparing only the eight major crimes Solomon used to back her claim, FBI numbers show an average 2.2 percent increase per year in Paso Robles.

Solomon did not respond to questions asking why the crime numbers provided the media by her department do not match those provided by the DOJ and the FBI.

A representative from the DOJ Criminal Justice Statistics Center confirmed that the number of burglaries reported by Paso Robles to CalCoastNews are not consistent with the numbers reported to the state. But, “There has been no manipulation of the data by our agency,” the DOJ representative said in an email.

Even data from the FBI does not accurately portray the crime levels in Paso Robles because responses to crime in the city by other agencies are not listed under the Paso Robles’ police department’s crime statistics. Rob Bryn, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff department’s public information officer, said that sheriff’s deputies assist the city of Paso Robles more than any other municipality in the county.

“The sheriff is aware of the budget issues throughout the county and will assist if resources are available,” Bryn said. Last year in Paso Robles, deputies responded to “30 verified calls total including two requests by CHP due to PRPD not having a unit to back them in their city and one call traffic collision/non-injury that PRPD would not respond to. Deputies handled removing the vehicles from the roadway.”


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92 Comments

  1. crimevictim says:

    By the way Lisa, and cronies, you were little bit too obvious on Sunday when you patrolled my home ALL DAY LONG. You see, my cul-de-sac only has about one or two stray cars a day statistically. Your friends stood out like a sore thumb, especially the ones on motorcycles and the one’s who waved to me. Is this supposed to be an intimidation tactic? I know you have hacked into my account too… I have been notified. You REALLY ARE SCARY and probably should just go out on disability. You are NOT WELL…:((

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • crimevictim says:

      In 2008 Solomon and her husband Christopher Chitty filed bankruptcy on their custom T-shirt business claiming more than $1 million in debt. However, they continued to run a renamed T-shirt business from their garage.

      The pair listed 50 to 60 creditors that included Kohl’s, Mervyns, Gottschalk’s, and Levitz Furniture.

      Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial trouble who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts, according to the bankruptcy code. Debtors whose financial difficulties are primarily due to consumer debt are subject to a “means test” — if income is greater than the median income for the state in which they reside, the court may deny the petition.

      In California, the median income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $74,801 in 2006 for a family of four. Chitty and his wife’s combined income is approximately $220,000 per year, (GONE UP SINCE THEN, PLUS CHILD SUPPORT) according to their sworn statements on the bankruptcy petitions. Chitty and Solomon have stated in court documents that their “debts are primarily business debts” and that no inventory from the business remains.

      WAKE UP PASO…. THIS WHO IS PROTECTING YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN… she can’t even handle a checking account!

      (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
  2. crimevictim says:

    That was a waste of time Spirit… we are not talking about a normal wife or woman here!

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
    • Spirit Filled says:

      God works miracles all the time. Blessings

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Spirit Filled says:

    If people spent as much time talking intimately with their wives or husbands everyday rather than reading about a cop that tries to find love in all the wrong places marriages would all be in the “Romance Stage”. My advice is spend at least 10 minutes a day looking in to each others eyes and talking to each other. Works for me even after 47 years of being married.

    This chief ought to try it. She would keep her hands closer to her husbands ……………where they should be. Might even completely change her for the better. She will discover how beautiful and fulfilling sex can be. Making love is like praying together. Jesus loves it when you pray together.

    God Bless you all.

    (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
  4. highdude says:

    What about this Ticket Quota? I started thinking about it and if it is found that it is an illegal quota everyone will have a right to appeal their traffic citations and possibly get some refunds on the fines they paid.

    Also the officers that were singled out on evaluations should file a class action suit claiming illegal management practices. The city will also have to pay out some enormous claims as well to the officer the management staff retaliated against and the sergeant Chief Solomon allegedly

    I don’t want to see any of Paso’s citizens pay anymore taxes but really I don’t live their so who cares!

    Bong hit!

    (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
    • Crusader says:

      If I got a traffic ticket in PR today and felt it was unjust, I would fight it with great publicity…

      (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
  5. MaryMalone says:

    I finally figured out why they don’t dare fire chief solomon…

    She’s holding the Paso Robles capybara hostage!

    Think about it…when is the last time anyone saw the capybara?

    FREE THE CAPYBARA!

    (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  6. pasojim says:

    With so much of this conversation being direct towards the legal aspects of this soap opera. It doesn’t seem all that far fetched to find the roots of this soap opera started when our illustrious city council went against the best interest of the citizens by following Iris Yang to this legal firm that advises city council’s (some may still remember the city of Bell soap opera), go ahead and fleece the city resources and the citizens all you want, every thing will be OK.

    I also doesn’t seem to be too much of a stretch to imagine the same legal advice being given to our city council, go ahead with your agenda, every thing will be OK.

    Paso City Government, The gift us Paso Citizens have given to ourselves that keeps on giving.

    (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      A gubmint is like a wild beast of burden. It can get mighty tasks done with all its assumed powers and muscle. But if you take your eyes off it, it will gore you to death.

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Oh, the metaphors abound…

        Like a mighty beast of burden, government produces a lot of $hit along with the work it does.

        (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          Yes, indeed, the metaphors do abound! God help the clean up crew!

          Après moi le déluge!

          (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.