Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shoud San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne Be Fired?

From Voice of San Diego
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"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.

"In the same forum the next year, the chief would claim that the city's crime rate was the lowest it had been since 1976. It wasn't.

"At that same presentation, he said that overall crime had been coming down each of the previous three years. It hadn't.

"Lansdowne said on public television that his officers were responding to the most serious of calls from residents in trouble "within the six minutes that we should." That was not true. Responses to emergency calls were taking an average of seven minutes and were getting slightly worse.

"The list goes on..."

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