It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but sometimes even the good guys cook the books in order to disguise or hide the truth.
What they did may not be in quite the same league as a murderer hiding bodies or a money launderer trying to hide his trail, but sometimes even the police do the wrong thing. While the specific infraction is rather minor, the main problem that occurs when the police do wrong is a loss of public confidence and support which undermines the ability of police everywhere to do their job effectively and safely. In recent years the NYPD has really undertaken steps to be more transparent and accountable. As this case shows, anything that undermines the progress made is going to be handled immediately.
An online article from the New York Post discusses how 19 cops did not accurately report crime numbers which made crime statistics appear better than they really were. The 19 cops are all facing disciplinary charges and the commander of the South Bronx precinct has been transferred. The heinous crime of the 19 officers? Underreporting crime numbers so that crime appeared to have dropped by 14 percent for the precinct for the year when in reality the number had only dropped 11.4 percent. The officers appear to have ignored certain minor crimes such as criminal mischief, trespassing, petit larceny, and misdemeanor assault.
However, there are others who defend the cops saying that the underreporting was likely not intentional. Instead they blame the oversight on the high workload of the cops. When cops have to handle such a high load of cases it is inevitable that certain small items simply can’t get the full attention and documentation that is due more significant crimes. Police leadership to some degree support this stance in their reporting that they don’t know of any motive for the underreporting by the officers and that the officers were not working together in any way.
Luckily, all in all, this specific situation appears to be pretty minor as far as accusations against the police can go. Sometimes the wrong thing gets done even when trying to do the right thing!