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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highdude

For those of you not familiar with the Traffic Citation Quota Law, I have copied it directly from the CA Vehicle Code without errors and omissions unlike the Crime Stats Solomon recently produced to the press.


I tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me WEED!


Arrest Quota Defined Per California Vehicle Code


41600. For purposes of this chapter, “arrest quota” means any requirement regarding the number of arrests made, or the number of citations issued, by a peace officer, or parking enforcement employee, or the proportion of those arrests made and citations issued by a peace officer or parking

enforcement employee, relative to the arrests made and citations issued by another peace officer or parking enforcement employee, or group of officers or employees.


If you are Chief Lisa Solomon or Capt. Robert Burton (an ex-traffic officer), how can you not know this, isn’t it YOUR JOB??? Or at least once you found out about it DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! You know why you didn’t, because your egos took over and said to the troops F%$# You! We will do what we want to do, so do it!


Karma’s a bitch ladies and gentleman! I assume the word has got out to Burton “NEED NOT APPLY” when the Chief’s job becomes vacant. Besides they don’t take applications from Sergeants, which is most likely where he will be demoted to.


Morons!


@#$%&^*^%%#*@&^#%@ extra long bong intake noise!


jackal

Fabricating crime statistics………….. Keystone come to mind.


highdude

Oh yah and I forgot to add this; I know Jerry Shea is a busy man but he really needs to take notice of the situation as it is unfolding in Paso. There are criminal elements to the complaints against Solomon, so why isn’t one or more of his staff on board or does he think the CIVILIAN ATTORNEY can handle everything for his portion of the investigation?


%$#*@^%* bong intake noise!


highdude

TELEGRAM TRIBUNE JUMPS ON BOARD, NEWS AT ELEVEN!


I just finished reading the TT’s front page about the Illegal Ticketing the officers have been mandated to do within the City of Paso Robles. Now the first thing I did was actually read the CA Vehicle Code section that defines/prohibits illegal ticket quotas so I could make an informed opinion, and I am sorry to say PRPD”s guidelines are exactly what is defined as WHAT NOT TO DO when it comes to writing tickets and evaluating officers on their criminal stats.


A friend of mine lives next to a PRPD cop and the cop told him the PRPD management staff uses what is called a “SHIFT AVERAGE” as the baseline for how many tickets an officer NEEDS to write to keep in good graces with his/her sergeant. For example It works something like this: say there are 4 officers per shift and at the end of month when officers get their monthly evaluation it shows that the SHIFT AVERAGE was 10 tickets per officer. If you did not meet the average number of 10 you could get hammered by the sergeant


So SHIFT AVERAGE is a form of QUOTA SYSTEM as you are being compared to other shift members for the single purpose of evaluation UNLAWFUL according the CA VEHICLE CODE. There were several instances where police officers were also put on a PIP or Program Improvement Plan for the sole purpose of getting their traffic citations up to SHIFT AVERAGES. Some of these officers were also shift leaders in other Statistical Categories but were singled out for lack of Traffic Citation Production because they did not meet SHIFT AVERAGE. Do you see a patten here???


The officer also went onto say that one of the past Traffic Officers examined statistical data compiled by PRPD computers in regards to the number of Traffic Citations Written vs. The Number of Fatal/Injury Collisions and the program was a complete failure, and at the same time theft and burglaries were up. WTF Solomon!


The TT is quoting an un-named sergeant within the PRPD who is trying to explain why they need to write so many tickets. I have to say he sounds like a real idiot. If you have a set let us know your name or are you afraid of being retaliated against by the Chief and her playmates. This is probably the same sergeant that wrote the commendation for an officer for not chasing a DRUG USER/THIEF!


So you make the decision. I know cops need to write tickets but hopefully they only write them to those who are most deserving!


One last thing; ask Solomon to produce the stat data that shows that this Traffic Citation is actually working in Paso Robles. She can’t because it doesn’t exist! I am surprised that Johan Lamb of the TT did not ask for this data as it’s the entire basis for the article!


That was too much and too early in the morning. I need a bong hit!


Crusader

If you live in Paso you need to run for a council seat…


Cindy

Actually, Solomons serious traffic accident fatalities is a bit of a joke. I looked it up on the cities web site. She is including traffic fatalities that occur on the 101 Fwy! Since when is the 101 her jurisdiction and since when are those people driving down the 101 concerned with the PRPD and their tickets!! Hey Lisa, get your agencies sorted out, we don’t pay you to work for the CHP.


2007- 1 Traffic fatality on the 101 and one fatality at Pacific Ave. There is a notation that say’s the data surrounding that accident on Pacific is inconsistent. I wonder if it was in County Jurisdiction?


2008 – 1 Fatality at Buenta Vista due to drunk driving ** 1 Fatality on airport road ** 1 fatality on SR-46 (by Mill Road) .


2009 – 1 Fatality on the 101 (a note say’s they don’t know if other cars were involved) – 1 Fatality on Charolias Road due to drunk driving and racing.


No stats were listed for 2010 or 11 but she made a big deal about 2009 in the Tribune article. Just thought I would point out that 1 accident with fatalities occurred in her jurisdiction in 2009 and it was due to a drunk driver. I doubt ticketing him for rolling a stop sign or speeding would have had any effect on his drunk driving and racing.


Oh Lisa, You’re a real piece of work, trump up the accidents to defend your foolish ticket quotas and alter the stats on crime to say it has gone down!!


MaryMalone

Oh Cindy. Good for you for tracking down the details.


Did she allow her officers to respond to those calls? Or is she taking credit for the sheriffs deputies picking up her slack?


Cindy

Don’t know but she is keeping stats on them including the geographical co-ordinates, time of accident (if she knows it) number of vehicles involved and cause (if she knows it). It doesn’t seem to matter if it is in her jurisdiction or not but regardless, none of this makes any sense. I pulled the detailed reports from the Office of Traffic Safety and took a close look. I compared Paso, Atascadero and SLO and then the entire county. SLO the incorporated city is much worse than Paso Robles for traffic safety ranking. SLO only ranks 8th out of the division of the 98 comparative cities where traffic safety is concerned and SLO is among the same division of ciites that Lisa is compared with. She is ranking 25 out of the 98 cities so she has a long way to go to be anywhere near as bad as SLO! Also 90% of Paso Robles bad ranking is due to alcohol related accidents, hit and runs, accidents during the (DUI & lets get high) hours of 9:PM – 3:AM and speeding (all of that is available on the OTS web site). But the biggest problem PR has is alcohol related accidents with injuries being reported (if you say your neck hurts it gets reported) and her force is dealing with it so well that they are rated at 90 out of 98, thats the TOP 91%!! In 2009, her force arrested 238 DUI’s or 1.32% of Paso Robles licensed drivers as compared to SLO which has more than double the alcohol related accidents and 33% more residents, double the police force and they only arrested 240 DUI drivers!


Her ticket quotas aren’t going to change anything. They are already on top of it, they are busting the DUI drivers and are in the top 91% of all other cities in their division for controlling the DUI problems. As for speeders, well if they see one, they will ticket him. I don’t know what her beef is apart from the fact that they have too many vine festivals and lots of folks drink like Lisa does.


WiseGuy

Thank you CalCoastNews for using critical thought when reporting the information that law enforcement provides the public in the guise of public accountability. Our other news sources have been derelict in this, making your efforts invaluable and something other news outlets should treat as an example of what to aspire to if they are to be of service to our community in ways that are most needed.


standup

One simple question. Jerry Shea, our hardworking DA has his underlings waste time, mucho dinero, and file appeals because they don’t like the leading judge of SLO’s jury instructions for the medical marijuana cases. But he won’t even start an investigation into this eye opening, obvious criminal activity? Please explain Mr. Shea. Or better yet, why doesn’t CCN ask him. I would love to know why he is apparently sweeping this under the rug.


Citizen

Mr. Shea and the DA’s Office were involved in the cover up for Chief Lisa’s unregistered gun. One of her ex-husbands worked for the SLO DA’s Office and the unregistered gun was traced to the DA’s Office. Somehow, and it was never explained, the ex-husband acquired the gun and supposedly gave it to the Chief (as her throw away gun) as part of the divorce settlement (although not in writing). This ex now works at the Monterey DA’s Office. The gun that Chief Lisa left loaded in her unlocked vehicle in my neighborhood was then stolen and retreived when the Atascadero police picked up two suspicous guys and found stolen items in their car.


Chief Lisa never reported the gun stolen because it was illegal, and it is illegal for police to carry what they call “throw aways” that can be left at the scene of botched investigations to show that fatal force was necessary to subdue a criminal. The gun was identified because it was in a holster with her name on it.


ThinkingItThrough

I constantly check the crime reports on the Trib page and I NEVER see the crimes that I am personally aware of listed. That has always seemed a little shifty to me and I’ve commented about it more than once to my spouse. I am not talking about “hear say” crimes, I am talking about crimes I have personal, first hand knowledge of (neighbors, close friends). I am not surprised by these suggestions.


backseat_driver

Numbers don’t lie but liars do numbers. Numbers are only as good as the person who compiled them and who do you trust more; the DOJ and FBI or chief Solomon?


MaryMalone

QUOTING THE ARTICLE: “A representative from the 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.


Well, there you go. A Grade #1 smack-down by the DOJ Criminal Justice Statistics Center, special delivery to Chief Lisa Solomon.


I wonder if Solomon really believed the DOJ would be as easily manipulated as the Paso Robles city manager and city council are? Did she think they would back up HER statistics?


She must be pretty desperate if, to justify her presence as chief, and to back up her claims as to the PR crime rate dropping under her watch, she has to change the DOJ crime statistics.


What is really, really sad is that the city council and city manager let her get away with the lies.