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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Police Department
Reporting and Utilization of Bias Incident Data


Issued: September 25, 2014
Link to full audit report 2014-N-2

Purpose
To determine whether the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is accurately collecting, recording, and reporting bias incident statistics and utilizing the data for management decisions. We also determined whether NYPD officers receive sufficient training to enable them to identify and handle all possible bias incidents.

Background
With the passage of the Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Act), the New York State Legislature acknowledged the damaging effect of criminal acts involving violence, intimidation, and destruction of property based on bias and prejudice. The Act requires law enforcement agencies throughout the state to collect and report statistics on hate crimes to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (Division). The Division compiles hate crime data in an annual statewide report and submits summary data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its collection and publication.

The NYPD is responsible for capturing, recording, and reporting hate crimes occurring in New York City. The Division reported a state-wide total of 720 hate crime incidents for calendar year 2012, including 374 incidents (52 percent) that reportedly took place in New York City. The NYPD’s data is drawn from Incident Reports that are prepared by its Hate Crimes Task Force.

Key Findings

  • Based on existing NYPD record-keeping practices, we were unable to confirm that all reported bias incidents are properly captured, recorded, and reported. From 2010 through 2012, there were data disparities between individual incident reports and summaries of bias-related crimes reported. In 2010, for example, individual incident reports indicated that there were 371 biasrelated crimes. However, the Division’s annual report stated that there were 350 such crimes (a difference of 21 incidents).
  • There was no formal central office analysis of, or corresponding action plan for, the bias-related crime data that was collected. Thus, such data was not used for central office management decision-making purposes.
  • We also identified some improvement opportunities to enhance the NYPD’s training program regarding bias incidents.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a document tracking system to properly account for all bias-related incidents. Ensure that all official summary records of hate crime-related data are reconciled and supported by the properly accounted for incident reports.
  • Periodically analyze the captured hate crime-related summary data and make inquiries or take action as appropriate.
  • Develop a training-related recordkeeping system that can be easily accessed by NYPD management to ensure that all officers receive required training.
  • Consider requiring periodic hate crime-related training as part of the regular NYPD training curriculum.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

None


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236