Recently, in the local newspaper, the Medford Mail Tribune, there were howls from local business and political leaders that Medford was being unfairly tarnished by FBI crime statistics as an extreme high crime area. What is so unfair? After all, the crime statistics are what they are. The raw numbers are fed to FBI by our local law enforcement agencies and Jackson County court records.
The fact that the crime statistics seem absurd to people who actually live in Medford is beside the point. No one who lives in Medford who has come from other parts of the country actually percieves Medford as a high crime area. That is because, in reality, it is not.
Perhaps that is why business and community leaders are in an uproar. People who look to Medford as a place to live or retire must certainly turn away once they see the crime stastitics. Who can blame them?
Medford Police Chief Timothy George recently stated that the FBI must have tabulated the data wrong somehow. Let me give you my take on this issue. The Medford Police Department has a vested interest in reporting high crime and arrests. After all, if there is not high crime and lots of arrests for lots of criminal charges, the people of Medford might not feel the need for a very large police force. Medford has a very large police force. The people of Medford might not feel so likely to pass bond measures to beef up the Medford Police Department. They might gripe and resist paying more money to build the Medford Police Department a new department with all the bells and whistles.
Perhaps the disconnect between what we who live in Medford know, about there being very little crime in Medford, and the crime stastitics, is cause for concern for the Medford Police Department.
It should now be clear to everyone that that there is data inflation from the agency that reports the data. Might I suggest that if the Medford police did not over-charge (and over-report) criminal incidents in the first place, the stastical rate of crime in Medford would falls very quickly. If this were done, the crime statistics might accurately reflect reality. Unfortunately, for the Medford Police Department that would be bad news.