Wednesday, May 30, 2007

San Diego Mayor Says You Should Know Better than to Believe the Chief of Police

The editors of Voice of San Diego told their readers today:
"The mayor's explanation for his police chief's misstatements is simple: Residents just can't trust what the police chief says out loud and they should know better than to think they could."

Here are the first two paragraphs of the editorial:

"For several years, members of the San Diego City Council have complained that they were misled if not outright lied to by the city's employees. Several of them have blamed staff members for getting them into so much trouble with agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of them, in fact, Councilman Brian Maienschein, regularly has avoided closed-session meetings of the council because, he says, he simply can't trust what he is told in them.

"Yet only Councilwoman Donna Frye has complained after revelations recently that Police Chief William Lansdowne has regularly made materially misleading statements about crime rates in the city of San Diego. Sometimes to the City Council itself, other times in public forums, the police chief has touted the city's crime environment with statistics and conclusions that were simply untrue. In a 2006 presentation to the City Council committee that oversees public safety efforts, Lansdowne claimed that the crime rate had gone down but that "it would be a struggle for us to do it again next year." The crime rate, in fact, had gone up."

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