19 NYPD Officers Face Charges of Downgrading Crimes

NEW YORK (AP) -

NYPD officials said Friday they uncovered dozens of instances of crimes misreported and wrongly downgraded by officers at a precinct after an anonymous tip to internal affairs and now 19 officers face departmental charges.

The lieutenant, detective, eight sergeants and nine officers worked at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx and face charges of misreporting during a four-month period. They face a loss of vacation days or possible dismissal.

The NYPD’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, Lawrence Byrne, said accurate numbers are critical.

“We need the public to trust those numbers, and we make resource assignments of officers, how they spend that time, in large part based on those numbers,” he said.

As a result, overall crime statistics for the precinct for last year were recalculated from a crime decrease of 14 percent to just 11.4 percent.

The previous administration was plagued by allegations crime rates were low partly because officers were labeling higher-level crimes including shootings as lower-level assaults to make precincts seem safer, but there was never any widespread proof.