Signals: Crime by the numbers

What started out as an effort to track trends in crime in New York City became a quota system that created pressures within the NYPD, and it took one police officer to expose the injustice.
18:10 | 06/25/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Signals: Crime by the numbers
Find 38 signals. Brought to you by the 2015. Acura T relax it's that kind of thrill. Well this is how it all started this is there was just. Just came in the mail them or blew up. In office pleading to teaching and the sword you. Thirteenth. And people who have experienced staff and risen an outspoken and very. That officer. Claims he has secretly recorded tapes proving the department has a quota system. And it's manipulating crime statistics. Mostly supposed to great job throughout the trying to do the best subject but there are a lot of pressures. They have to deal with how to handle those things could help us. The real question but. In the early eighties crime was not a control of the city murders of 2000. Each year just six today during those years to there was a lot of smoke budget crisis on in the city it was day. The police department was very concerned and that led to a crime control system. Comps that. What is his revelation the revolutionizing lady NYPD police as the city of New York. Enables us in the TV to see crime trends as they happen on a more timely basis. Active and implement crime fighting strategy for a here at city. At its most basic level Constance simply. When he teams. Computer spreadsheets to track. Trends in a robbery. Pattern a series of burglaries. And then divert police resources toward a problem to process. What the departments do is they get a report from someone and then that importers and counted either as an index fund prison on index the index funds and more series on scuttling the Dow Jones industrial. Witches a series. Stocks that we look at and say how the stock market. They're tracking seven major cruise that you wouldn't robberies and burglaries. There Carson. When it's an index climbed it becomes a very serious matter for the police department. Because it's going against him climber. You constantly measuring. Against what happened last month. What happened a year ago. What happened five years ago and district commanders and held it humbled by the top echelons of the department. A rare look inside an NYPD comps that meeting we're precinct commanders aren't thrilled about. What's going on with crime bringing the parties together a constant meetings as very very good. DO all of these different. Players focusing. Almost exclusively on climate control. We never had that before what all the parties have brought together the data. From their district is this cast of behind them these are the crime stats. What are you doing and. It's really analysis it over to the accountability we expect you to do something that's and you can find somebody who will. What comes to act did was to force precinct commanders to look with what's going on the street what are the problems how do we solve those problems. We've taken management principles we've applied them to men can find. Constance definitely was a paradigm shift prime started to skyrocket down. Using constant. An initially I think it was easier. To bring down crime because crime was so high. It's kind of like squeezing the lemon when you squeeze lemon juice is easy to come out initially but over time is more more difficult. As time went on pressuring commanders remain constant. But the crime declines were becoming hard to achieve as a future. Crime has to go that's like a political necessity now to make sure that the mayor can go in front of the microphone and say hey look finds gone down again look. Crime reduction last week. Something like twelve or 13%. So that we flew over last year was. Level here like 3637. Years crime stats under hooker the city's reputation. So if you're showing her numbers you can justify economic development can justify tourism commanders are under him. On this pressures to make sure that the prime numbers go down. And then the message filters down to the lower rank if the captains not two while the inspectors not doing well when to while. Agents who craft as police officer. In the 81 precinct in Brooklyn. And in the first few years of his career he bought into the hole constant methodology he would go you. Make arrests to an every missile. Because there's such enormous pressures on commanders. Officers now feel this pressure of the lower ranks and they have to make sure things always. Reflected in the Comsat numbers the way that would doing it a lot MIP Diddy who was true summonses. At a rest. Everything had to be reflected in the numbers if it's not a number it doesn't exist. There's some bad people out there who need to be arrest. But the idea of setting that hasn't goal for a measurements from Kazakhstan. Judy with a problem seems to me as to invite the kind of difficulties and questions. Got a lot of departments are running into. Agent resented having to always right he wanted to use discretion. At certain point start to become disaffected with its constant pressure. He started speaking out about in the precinct which is not the smartest thing in the world to do because then you become. Somebody starts getting worse and they started to squeeze and they certainly given that posts disturbing given that valuations. Because he wanted to protect himself and build an evidence against his commanders. And started making recordings. Are. Agent recorded a number of various things. Quotas are illegal when there's certain type of punishment. So if you say get me twenty some roses and rose and interest for use Staten Island and your work the graveyard shift. That is that is a violation of state law and that's why you hear them on the tapes that are kind of thing about numbers but the message is so the sameness. And the. Today about the army unity government. We don't know what that means. Because it was happening precincts were improper use of stop and frisk stop and frisk can also be described as du fifty has 250 is the floor that the use. When they collect a stop. Didn't you that you we must split it. The but what you are hungry Britons. And it won't. Yeah. Was forms and then collected in the very carefully reviewed and put into spreadsheets so they become part of this quota system comedies out electricity done this month. Yeah it doesn't matter if he's on one but that led to arrests. He's done forty or forty it's great. In the tapes you'll hear supervisors. Has gone up for a good reason to fifties just say we are out. The candidates not attended any. The in. It's basically stop anyone from. Light summons on anyone's arrest anyone that you can just in the U quote it all becomes a numbers game. He was stopped we were frisked. We were of course told to put our hands up to see where we were. And down beginning just the whole experience. Is humiliating. It's embarrassing. Welcome back to get around. And the constant news became so much more involved that way careers and vigilance so. He responds to a crimes got a call Sargent come over congressional. Support. And it's about looking for flaws in the initial victims report and saying well that's not really felony that's more misdemeanors to keep out of here. Manager there's pressure. Enormous pressures that have increased over time. To do this downgrading there's a tape where school craft is talking to another his partner police officers took whatever it was it was just talking about it. Instances of downgrading that are it's clear that it's routine. And they just mentioned through your for example. One of them is an instance where me and gets up in the morning comes on for its cars. Occasionally mysteries in response. It was a record. Please. Or get there. No plans available today it's. Then a little while later the precinct commander Tauriello responds. It says the guys you're just doing time in prison. It was a victory years he's like. Oh. Teammate Carlo of the wanted to give problems with Ireland Italy the UK had. Yeah. Cards and I gave them to get my thought he would make it an important here. Exactly what intelligent decent living and we. Ended came up with parents TT left. I report never take. Problem comes in is when the crew goes. Reports they assaulted. The precinct worried about its assault numbers to hesitate to report that another person is assaulted in the same area. Because they didn't over the previous all in this kind of thing happens. So by playing with these numbers sure it's gonna look it'll be the number of assaults in the number of robberies and we'll go down. But actually what's going on in the streets is formally series. In the meantime the agent is gone in and spoken to control and risk fears about crime and internal affairs. This has left messages for about the precinct which is kind of like saying. Hate villagers helping us out with our investigation into whatever it is. Sort of October 31 20091 of his lieutenants comes over and takes them a book. He's been keeping a running record of everything in his office tapes. Lieutenant is now looking at that pillow book and then takes in the copy. And next to complete copies please. Adrian knows at this moment that all of his notes are in. That's when he really start to become more comfortable and a little bit more concerning safety. 45 minutes before shifting its. Patron decides to. Never you have the stage set for what comes. I. They okay. Boys all but there's chance. The police come into his apartment it's a small apartment and it suddenly fills with. High ranking police commanders and heavily armed. Boomers services officers. And tackle care. The captains lured back in the in the sand. So you come with thoughts but. You come with us whatever else you're not under a rescue team. You'd be quoted by the komando utilizing. Our you're here I don't have to deal makes it. And in normal situation this would have been the next morning but they demand you're gonna come back to the station and efficient disciplined and was agent who. It is says now we rocker. Finally. Chief Marino gets involved. Appreciate your leadership whose fault this or should do this or very little the way. Not right the very least she is job trying to butter us up this one. Son I'm going forward right now not in my apartment in your opponent. Rush you. Crossed a kind of a constitutional threshold by coming in his apartment. Chief Marino says now listen you're acting crazy so called paramedics to Paris. And they take agents put crash were given the circumstances. You're expected to be fairly posh. House and and securing the support it if you listen carefully tape you can hear marine coasts whisper he's NDP. It's. He DP refers to emotionally disturbed person. Which is. The only police jargon it's also a legal term. And if you classify someone as as an emotionally disturbed person you you get basically get control of first. They're gonna treat you resonated very that you have a choice do you get outlet commander which you shoot your wallet and plus like command. Also an administration stated pain having takeoffs and I do not unless you gotta happen to. I'm live right here molecular. Based yeah. Who needed. I'm holding my second or Damon Hill. Good one. One hand yeah. Yeah. Best finish. Terrorists who. Don't want sooners. Are oh. Different tone. Plus those get a series. The un handcuffed and searches pockets and they come up with the typical art Basel a home. Yeah yeah. The moment. To lunatics are quarter. And truth. And these. Recording is key because the truth the whole story kind of stands or falls on the fact that he records what happens. Engine still hasn't gotten that quarterback. We had a secular order to back at Princeton. Pictures that I threw away your you know to do this. What ordinary event is awarded knows how many rich. Leave us. He's. It's huge in school Kraft didn't have any weapons. He had no resources. He had gone through the chain of command. He had done please post it terms and trying to get his concerns issues addressed. All he had left was to start building some evidence. I believe they couldn't afford to. You have someone expose. Behavior so bad so criminal. Who in turn their. Their careers. And they were they reacted out of fear. And they had to. Stop that threat. I think concept itself is a very good in the nation my issues on the pressures that come with it I think that that's what we need to ease up. We shouldn't be telling that easy to lose here who commanded to lose your job listings numbers going the right direction. We didn't get into a numbers game and we're trying to detach ourselves in a numbers game as it is. News is as quickly as possible. Fighting real crime is what it's all about not finding the numbers of crime and that's the thing all we efficient all we really efficient. Well all we really just fighting. Oh paper tiger here.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"18:10","description":"What started out as an effort to track trends in crime in New York City became a quota system that created pressures within the NYPD, and it took one police officer to expose the injustice.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/fivethirtyeight","id":"56148317","title":"Signals: Crime by the numbers","url":"/fivethirtyeight/video/signals-crime-numbers-56148317"}