Category Archives: Crime Data

A Very Well Researched And Thoughtful Endorsement!

Now I also KNOW I’m on the right track in showing what real conservatism is.  🙂

Thank you Ryan!

~Paul Murphy ‪#‎MurphyForSheriff‬

“Vote for Paul Murphy (Write-In) for Sheriff”

“Paul Murphy
I don’t know Paul Murphy personally. I am voting for him (Write-IN for Sheriff) because I think he is a man of integrity who has a plan to create a compact, efficient, appropriate law and justice infrastructure in Whatcom County. I am aware of fact that Marxists like myself don’t generally vote for conservatives. But this is still a small county. I’m voting for the man and his vision anyway.

After reading more about Paul Murphy, I realized who he is and who he was forced to become and why he is running for Sheriff. First, read his blog and this slideshare (very important!) to understand why he is running for office and who is he is as a man. Unfortunately, I know too much about the existential dilemmas Detective Murphy experienced. I’m going to summarize them for you and expand of the struggle of whistleblowers on an abstract level in blue below. But you make sure to read his slideshare to know his full story and details.

In all aspects of modern society, especially but not exclusively energy production, mining and resource extraction, technology control, *investment banking*, propaganda and knowledge dissemination, nation state relations, state based security services, local and regional economies, money supply, narcotics trafficking, failed state economies, law and justice, government budgeting and processes, regulatory agencies, all diplomatic corps, international aid agencies (in short) in all *loci of power across the globe*, the systems of control and power that we live in are supported, organized and beholden to cesspools of corruption and abuse of power. This is how the world works now. All over.

Most of the time, this is hidden from all us for some very good reasons. If normal people knew how absolutely corrupt and fraudulent the world of power really was, they might do something about it. But most of us are just too careless, scared or clueless to go that route. We all know what happens if we confront power! And none of it is good. If we do discover something truly disconcerting, most of behave just like good Germans during WWII: we bury our heads (deep) in the sand and simply move on. So we can keep our jobs. So we don’t cause any trouble. So we can be ‘bright, shiny, happy people making friends’.

But every now and then, someone who does his job well, someone with integrity stares right down into the abyss of that cesspool and corruption and decides they need to do something about it. This is what Paul Murphy did. He didn’t start out as some crusader. He just looked and saw something he couldn’t believe. In some miracle of chutzpah, the kind that restores our faith in the heroes of this world, Paul couldn’t let it go. So he stared into the abyss and abyss behaved as predicted: it reached up, grabbed him by the throat and tried to drag him down. Paul wouldn’t let it. In the end, he came out better than many other whistle blowers fare. His concerns about the lapses in EHM (“electronic home monitoring”) uncovered what is probably a nationwide scandal that’s not being investigated. After he was essentially fired for his efforts, he received a settlement and WA actually enacted legislation tightening up EHM loopholes (1,2) . I personally know others who have fared much worse than this for similar efforts.

Think about for a moment what it means to have private EHM throughout all the counties in this country that don’t necessarily report EHM alarms to their respective governmental jurisdictions! Imagine a “pool of assets” with criminal backgrounds on EHM whose location can be manipulated to make it appear they are still at home when in fact they are not! Can you think of select ’employers’ who could use such a crowd of ghosts? I sure can. Paul Murphy is a national hero living right here in Whatcom County. He is not going to get any awards for being such. I suggest you give him your Write-IN vote for Sheriff instead.”

See original post here:  Bellingham Politics: Time To Vote

Cliff Notes: League Of Women Voters meeting

For your consideration.
(Notes and references below.)

This is a reprint (with her permission) of a comment by Whatcom County Exec candidate Joy Gilfilen on social media that I thought was a great summation of the larger issues surrounding the proposed county jail project: 

via Joy
I do not think this is party politic as much as it is the degenerative passion of an imploding prison industry…and we have to do the work to pull us out of the down-spiral.

Wednesday night at the League of Women Voters meeting, the speaker from Sea
ttle who has been working on these kinds of issues validated everything that the Coalition has been testifying and writing to the County Council, the County Executive, Mayors and Councilmen.

1) No Needs Assessment and no SWOT analysis to base this project on…there is no fiscal basis, no analysis of market trends. The County Executive continues to say there is one, yet has not produced it for the Jail Task Force, for the Council, nor upon request by the Restorative Community Coalition. Why not?

2) The prison industry has spiked and is in a downward trend now, so it is unwise to build a prison for the past, rather than one that reflects the future. This is the opposite of the (county) Executive Branch actions.

3) Over-criminalization is a problem in Whatcom County…with our Prosecutor in charge of the capacity to change it, the Sheriff has the ability to change it, the judges can change the overcrowding issues…all by simple bureaucratic actions. He was very clear that the roots of the problem with excessive incarceration is right here, right now. This is a locally controlled issue – and we were delighted to be second voiced by a man of this caliber. This flies in the face of what the Executive Branch (Louws) has been telling the Council on record.

4) He reiterated the stats provided by the Prosecutors a few weeks ago…that major crime has dropped 25 % in Whatcom County in the past few years. And that juvenile arrests are down about 80% in that same period of time. So why do we need to plan for expansion, when the stats clearly show a dramatic downturn? Furthermore, why are the jail bed stays/days increasing? He stopped short of saying that this might be an administratively created crisis. What he did recommend was to look at what they are doing in Spokane to bring a community coalition together with the Smart Justice banner.

All of this is true, and yes, this is happening on our watch. And it is time to stop the games of politics, and get down to solid business analysis…and on that level it fails also. More later…I gotta go.”

The comment (above) was in response to some back and forth on her original social media post commentary on the Herald article Bellingham council’s resistance casts doubt on jail plan

‘So the Executive says, “the county is likely to ask for something like a 20 cent per $1,000 property tax hike in 2016 to fund emergency medical services.” My gosh, where does he think this money is coming from? This is why it is critical to not put this ballot up to the voters – and to give the public time to find and propose alternatives.’ 

The comments references to the related Smart Justice meeting of the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County can be found on their website, along with a pdf of the meeting PowerPoint which I’ll also link here. SmartJusticeFairJustice – Cook

The incarceration reference information that was cited during the meeting presentation are found here. Smart Justice Fair Justice Incarceration data.

The exec and the sheriff are not presenting the full picture. They are presenting a terribly slanted view that not-so-coincidentally backs up their claims. Please share this information because a complicit local media that seems bent on backing anything the exec and the sheriff say are unlikely to present any of this information to you.

~PM

New Jail Information & Crime Trends

Crime trends have been decreasing in the United States since the 90’s. Now to be clear, that’s a reference to rates, as opposed to numerical quantities, but the data is pretty clear that crime overall is decreasing in the US and has been since the 90’s.

This US crime trend graphic is based on FBI UCR data collected from all law enforcement agencies in the United States. That the data is pretty clear that crime is in fact on a decreasing trend, that’s a problem for people that want to build big expensive jails and plush sheriff ‘headquarters.’

US Crime Trends - 1960-2010- UCR

The graphic above stops at 2010, but to be sure, I went to FBI’s website to find the most current crime data and confirmed that the trend continues today based on the most current data.
Property Crime 2009-2013 - FBI Violent Crime 2009-2013 - FBI

Reference: FBI Property Crime data and FBI Violent Crime data pages.

The above data shows clearly that crime rates are in fact decreasing in the US. Similar data for Washington State shows trends in line with the above graphics, but I’ll have to add those later when I find them again.

Here’s one important aspect that is often overlooked by big government types who push these sorts of big projects, crime clearance rates. This is an important factor to consider as well and my experience has been that investigations are too often neglected and/or an underfunded police function. (I’m not blaming anyone or pointing fingers with this, because it’s much harder to accomplish than it might appear, trust me, but I don’t think it should be overlooked either.)

I’d suggest to you that it’s probably because there’s no money in it for the jail industry profiteers, which we’ll eventually get around to as well.

Crime Clearance Rates 2013 - FBI

Reference: FBI Crime Clearance data

The point of this information is that any discussions of increasing or growing incarceration capacities or capabilities needs to be within a context of understanding that includes acknowledging the decreasing crime trends.

I hadn’t checked in awhile, but I see that Whatcom County has done a very good job of providing one central place to find the supporting information for their case for the new jail project. It’s well organized, it looks nice and the information is easy to find. It’s well done.

I’m in the process of reviewing what has been posted (Whatcom County – New Jail Information) on the county website. It’s going to take some time to go through it all, but I thought I’d post it for anyone else who may have also been unaware.

Just a few early thoughts while I’m absorbing and digesting all of this new information. Fluff comes to mind. A lot of fluff. There is substance too, but it’s packaged in a bed of an awful lot of fluff. If it were such a clear and compelling need to do it the way that is being suggested, I would think a much simpler case could easily be made?

I couldn’t help but notice what appears to be an overly stringent adherence to, if not an embellishment of, national standards, law and higher federal authorities like the DOJ,….when it suits them, but when it doesn’t suit them,….not so much.

It’s clear the county exec, sheriff and I presume county prosecutor want a new facility done their way, but thus far I remain unconvinced that it’s a true necessity as presented, based on what I’ve seen so far, on other data and my own personal experiences. I do know this though, if there’s anyone that can fluff with the best of them, it’s Bill Elfo and he’s very smooth at it.

I’d like to hear about what is being done to enhance investigations, because Whatcom County’s crime clearance rates have not been the best either and surely would be in line with the national trends. I have a few examples to explore sometime later when time permits. One in particular I think you may find surprising.

One parting thought.

A key date is upcoming and I get the feel from the presentation that county officials feel that it’s already in the bag. ‘November 2015:  Ballot Measure for Sales Tax.’ The vote.

I’ve learned in discussions with others that state law allows for a maximum  .3% tax for public safety concerns. We already have a .1% tax for the interim jail facility on Division Street and I hear that the ballot measure will be for an additional .2% increase for the Labounty Rd. jail project. Hmmm.