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« Coble makes sense | Main | Jesus, Trump, and Skip Alston »

Jan 30, 2008


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"Makes me wonder who the chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party's media committee is talking to."

Apparently, some that you don't listen to.

Why is that?

Ed Cone

I listen to a lot of people, including Tony.

I'm just flummoxed by the statement that "the first question everyone asked" him was about race.

I'd listen to those people, too, although I might not agree with them.

In fact, I'm hoping Tony will tell us more - what was it exactly that "everyone" asked him about race and the crime statistics?

What was the actual question?


I would also be curious to know the number of officers each city has on their force. Tony, welcome to the Web.



It's obvious that he was talking to the Clinton's.

Dave Ribar


Actually, what jumped out at me when I went to the FBI site to double-check the figures was the statement:

“Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.”

What the FBI is warning about is exactly the type of simplistic analysis that Mr. Wilkins has performed. Why can't elected officials read simple instructions and warnings.

Fred Gregory


Quite frankly I don't see your point. Unless, of course, you are trying to pin the racist tag on Tony. Please explain.

The facts are the facts. I would very much like to hear from the state and/or national Sheriffs Association and/or the IACP on this subject. Sheriff Barnes would be someone's input I would value. In other words some experts.

I don't pretend to know much about reporting or intepreting crime statistics. The FBI simply compiles that which is submitted by state and local law enforcement agencies. The title UCR (" UNIFORM Crime Reports") must imply some uniformity. The excerpt you quoted sounds like a politically correct boiler plate disclaimer. I would only add that I see no distinction between an armed robbery in Manteo and one in Murphy. Same for first degree murder, bank embezzelment, arson, home invasion, drug distribution,
rape, auto theft etc etc.

From the FBI website: " The UCR Handbook outlines classification and scoring guidelines that law enforcement agencies use to report crimes to the UCR. In addition it contains reporting forms and an explanation on how to complete the form. The handbook also provides definitions of all UCR offenses"

Every FBI fingerprint card I ever submitted had a box to indicate the race of the defendant. I don't know if the UCR report forms include a place for this type data. I must assume they do. And there is this link at the UCR website:
Age-Specific, Race-Specific rates for selected offenses 1993-2001

Tony Wilkins

I believe Dave Ribar is confusing the FBI compilation of murder, rape, robbery, assault, and burglary.
I simply used population and murders committed for a comparison in each region of the country.
I also used the FBI Rating that is assigned to each city.
There is also an FBI warning at the beginning of each motion picture shown. Do you know what it says Dave?


Tony, are you sure that the combined population of blacks and whites in Jersey City is 60% of the total population? What's the other 40%?

Dave Ribar


How do you get an accusation of racism from that post?

The FBI says that you can't draw meaningful conclusions from simplistic comparisons of crime rates. To be specific, the FBI cautions, "Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime in a town, city, county, state, region, or college or university, they can make no meaningful comparisons." To put it more succinctly, the FBI has said not to use the data this way.

If Mr. Wilkins wants to do the type of analysis that the FBI recommends, one that includes all of the relevant characteristics of a community and maybe one that includes several years of data and several additional communities, I would be happy to read it. Until then, I'm going with the FBI's evaluation, which is that his analysis is not "meaningful."

Jeffrey Sykes

Folks, contrary to what Skip Alston believes, we don't live in a black and white country anymore.

Jersey City demographics:
*The racial makeup of the city was 34.01% White, 28.32% African American, 0.45% Native American, 16.20% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 15.11% from other races, and 5.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.31% of the population. Largest ancestries include: Italian (6.6%), Irish (5.6%), Polish (3.0%), Arab (2.8%), and German (2.7%).*


Thanks, Jeff, for the demographics.


"The excerpt you quoted sounds like a politically correct boiler plate disclaimer."

No question there, Fred. It's equivalent to "your actual mileage may vary".

Of course, the FBI excerpt DID give Dave the opening he sought to write the following:

"......which is that his analysis is not 'meaningful.'"

What "analysis" did you think Tony provided, Dave?

Dave Ribar

People who are interested in seeing the warning for the 2006 UCR data may try linking to Uniform Crime Reports index page and then clicking on the 2006 link under "Crime in the United States."

Once you do that, please tell us how much confidence you would have in a simple ranking.

Go ahead, try it. You know you want to.

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