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by Peter Moskos

May 20, 2010

New Orleans opens Comstat to public

I think this is a good idea.


Anonymous said...

It will make a very good dog and pony show, and New Orleans needs such shows. But it won't be a good managment tool. It will be a disgrace if commanders are reprimanded, criticized or castigated in front of local citizens for their mistakes and sub-par policework. How can commanders exert authority and confidence in their communities when their constituents have seen them called on the carpet for some of their shortcomings? There should be a public part of the event, then a private one, where the actual managing of police leaders can go on.

PCM said...

I was actually thinking that is why it would be good. By preventing the meetings from deteriorating into negativity and public humiliation, perhaps they would actually be more productive.

Anonymous said...

What follows could be an actual Compstat exchange, one where police work happens. It could never happen in front of the public. It will not happen in New Orleans, especially in front of a crowd.

A "We've identified Eddie Jones as the shooter in the homicide. He doesn't know he's been named yet, but we've got a warrant out for him."

B "Good work. Does the video corroborate?"

A "Video?"

B "From the bodega. The one that your worksheet on the day of the homicide says capture the shooting."

A "We don't have it."


A "Chief, to answer your question, we never pulled the video for the homicide from the camera, and when we went for it a week later, it was erased."

B "So you don't have the video?"

A "No."

B "Do you realize that this is the fourth time out of the last seven where your guys have failed to pull available video for a violent crime?"

A "I guess it is."

B "What is your procedure? Who oversees it?"

A "Sergeant Bixby. He reviews the worksheets from the canvases and makes sure we get the videos if they're out there."

B "Let me see... [long pause] Sergeant Bixby has been on vacation for the last two weeks and is chronically absent. Is this the person who should be in charge of this?"

A "I guess not."

B "If Bixby is still in charge of auditing video evidence and you're still not getting available footage by the next time we meet, I'm going to assume your committment to putting a good case together isn't genuine."

A "I got the message loud and clear, boss."

That was Compstat. What NO is apparently doing is confusing Compstat for a community meeting.

PCM said...

I see your point.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, in the article you refer to, one of the comments at the bottom openly wonders why people just don't go to the monthly community meetings that the police hold in New Orleans. It seems like the better venue for the types of things the cops are talking about in their comstat meeting. Neither here nor there.

PCM said...

Because I think a lot of people know community meetings are mostly bullshit.

Which begs the question: are they bullshit *because* the community is there?