Odessa police have reported inaccurate crime statistics to the FBI for at least a decade.
An Odessa American investigation into the Odessa Police Department’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) numbers discovered police had misreported their own crime data in terms of incidents, clearances and arrests. Although generally making their results appear far worse than they should have been, police were unaware of the problem before the OA’s inquiry.
The investigation also uncovered the unsolved 2008 homicide of an infant, never publically reported, not only through the UCR but also to the media.
More than a month after discovering the errors, the software company, city technicians and Odessa police are still working to sort everything out in the massive, convoluted world of thousands of pieces of data and federal guidelines.
“For us, the headache is just starting,” Police Chief Tim Burton said last week, more than a month after starting to delve into why the numbers were off.