After criticism for faulty kidnapping numbers, the Phoenix City Council has approved an item that would speed up the process of replacing the Phoenix Police Department's outdated recording system.
The Police Automated Computer Entry records management system has been used by the Phoenix Police Department since the late 1980s.
An initial request to replace the program began in 2005 as part of the 2006 Bond Program but it was pushed back each year as other issues have called for immediate attention, according to a City Council Report on the consent agenda for June 8, 2011.
Now, after months of criticism over false kidnapping statistics, the City Council has approved Police, Budget and Research, and Finance and Information Technology getting together to reprioritize bond funding to begin replacing the outdated system right away.
Phoenix was called the "kidnapping capitol" after statistics in 2008 said there had been 358 kidnappings in the Phoenix area.
The department took some heavy criticism when it was discovered that many of those kidnappings were false or not accurately recorded.
A panel was formed to investigate the statistics and in May of 2011 the panel released its report. The panel concluded that there were actually 668 separate incidents that occurred in 2008. However, of those initial 358 reported kidnappings, at least 38 percent were not actual kidnappings.
The panel blamed the false statistics on the city's outdated recording system.
"Why these 136 cases were incorrectly classified can, in part, be traced to the complexity of these crimes, the commission of multiple crimes in a single incident at varying levels of seriousness, and the use of Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 13-1304 (2008) ... The Panel, however, believes that the kidnapping statistical errors resulted largely from problems with reporting and case management," the report said. "By all accounts, PACE is an unwieldy system that is nearly 25 years old."
The panel suggested replacing PACE or retraining all employees on how to use it properly.
City staff and the Bond Committee will begin meeting soon to identify ways to allow PACE to be replaced as soon as possible.
Phoenix police declined to comment, saying they would wait until they get a chance to review the changes that will be made.
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