Fraternal Order of Police Advertisements on the D.C. Mayoral Election in Context

Fraternal Order of Police Advertisements

On the D.C. Mayoral Election in Context

In October, 2014, the Fraternal Order of Police D.C. Police Union issued an advertisement urging voters to vote for D.C. Mayoral Candidate David Catania (I)—the candidate the union has formally endorsed in the mayoral election. The data used in the advertisement was sourced to, a website managed by the same D.C. Police Union. The advertisement, mailed to D.C. voters, sought to attribute selectively cited crime statistics to actions taken by Mayoral Candidate Muriel Bowser when she was a councilmember.

The advertisement says:

The advertisement misrepresents the relationships between policies the D.C. Police Union has offered an opinion on, real crime trends, and the choices D.C. residents have around the best ways to enhance public safety.

The advertisement misrepresents the crime trend data and science behind criminology in the following ways:

Washingtonians deserve an accurate presentation of facts on these important public safety issues, not selectively chosen data that skews the picture and fails to provide context.

Washingtonians also deserve to have a police force that is well-trained, with the tools they need to respond to public safety challenges, and prepared to appropriately and fairly serve all parts of the City with an effective community policing approach. That said, most criminologists would agree that policing strategies and professionalism have some impact on crime, but that crime rates are affected by a much larger set of issues.

For more information, contact the Justice Policy Institute, 202 558-7974.

[1] Tracey Kyckelhahn, Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts 2007, Table 8. Per capita justice expenditure (fiscal year 2007) and full-time equivalent justice employment per 10,000 population (July 2007) of state and local governments by activity and state 2007 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010)

[2]For more information, see, Rethinking the Blues: How We Police in the U.S. and at What Cost (May, 2012). Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute.

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