Atlanta Officials Caught Fibbing Crime Rates to Explain Mismanaged Federal Funds

The City of Atlanta was recently audit by the Department of Justice. The audit was conducted to trace how nearly $400,000 of the $1.1 million the city received in grants has been spent. Atlanta was awarded the DOJ grants to help the city clean up its most crime-ridden areas. The money was to help the city’s ‘Weed and Seed’ program which intended to ‘weed’ out the crime and plant ‘seeds’ of new positive growth.
In a recent press release, city officials announced a drop in crime in some of the most affected neighborhoods. Crime rates were said to be down 35% in Mechanicsville and down between 42 and 51% in Pittsburgh, Vine City, and English Avenue. A Georgia online newspaper questioned the figures; they contacted city spokesman Carlos Campos who researched the numbers. He acquiesced that the numbers were incorrect.
In actuality, crime rose in Mechanicsville by a whopping 35% during the time period between 2007 and 2011. In the other areas, crime rates were merely exaggerated to be about 5% down. Campos blames the discrepancy on a failure to validate the numbers through the Atlanta Police Department’s Tactical Analysis Unit.
The city corrected the statistics in a statement and also noted that even though the numbers were incorrect, crime rates were down an average of 21% in the four neighborhoods targeted by the ‘Weed and Seed’ program.