MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile's Police Chief Micheal T. Williams said department employees intentionally changed or misclassified information in crime reports between January and June of 2013.
The problem was detected in preparation of the Mobile Police Department's COMSTAT report when the assigned personnel noticed inconsistencies in the way their burglaries were being written in the First Precinct.
As a result, the department conducted a self initiated audit on burglary reports to include all five precincts to ensure accuracy.
Investigators determined that 108 of 3,203 reported property crimes were misclassified or downgraded for various reasons.
“I believe the majority of these cases were because perhaps the detectives were overworked or overloaded and this was a shortcut for them to get some of those cases off their desk,” said Mobile Police Chief Micheal T. Williams.
The investigation revealed that of the 108 incorrect reports, 85 were from the First Precinct, three were from the Second Precinct, three were in the Third Precinct, 11 in the Fourth Precinct, and six in the Fifth Precinct.
Williams said the victims have been contacted and the Mobile Police Department will now report the corrected numbers to the FBI, change their Uniform Crime Report numbers, and reassign the cases so they can be correctly investigated.
So how does the public know this isn't going to happen again?
“We've changed our policy. We've placed safeguards in multiple levels of approval when any case is changed,” Williams said.
Williams said the department will also do more random checks of audits and reports.
The chief said the six detectives and supervisors suspected of altering the police reports will be held accountable in an administrative hearing.
One detective has already resigned.
Williams said there's no indication any of the other crime categories information was altered.
Chief Williams is to retire at the end of October.
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