Want to read more? Subscribe Now or Sign In
Hide ( X )
  • THE CRIME REPORT - Your Complete Criminal Justice Resource

  • Investigative News Network
  • Welcome to the Crime Report. Today is

Crime and Justice News

Another Look at Police Homicides: Dramatically Down This Year

April 12, 2012 08:00:00 am

We said this week that the New York Times had reported "a 25 percent increase" in 2011 in police officer homicides. The Times didn't note that the number had dramatically declined this year, notes the Grits for Breakfast blog. There have been only 31 compared with 59 at this time last year, says the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The blog accuses the Times of playing up the increase because "sensationalistic bad news draws more readers than stories about positive trends." 

Limiting the analysis to police homicides ignores most on-the-job police deaths, which much more frequently happen because of accidents, often in traffic. In 2010, 153 officers died on the job nationwide, but the FBI on which the Times based its analysis counted 56 officers "feloniously killed" that year. So when calculating the increase in the Times story, most on-the-job police deaths weren't counted. Special care is warranted when analyzing statistics involving such small numbers. With more than 700,000 sworn officers in the U.S., these small fluctuations are not necessarily statistically significant. Notably absent from the Times story was any analysis by a statistician on whether these short-term data fluctuations are meaningful. Instead, the article is filled with speculation about the reasons for a trend that may or may not exist, says Grits for Breakfast.


« Article List
No Comments yet

TCR at a Glance

Caging Kids ‘Like Animals’

July 29, 2014

Civil rights groups ask DOJ to investigate San Diego County youth facilities after probe of pepper spray abuses

Merging Family and Drug Courts

new & notable July 25, 2014

London's court for parents who abuse drugs and alcohol uses specially-trained judges and multi-disciplinary teams, according to a report ...

Five Things About Deterrence

new & notable July 24, 2014

A National Institute of Justice flyer argues that the certainty of punishment, rather than severity, deters crime