A week ago, the mayor and the police department were crowing about how the Seattle crime rate has reached a 40-year low.
At the top of the list, they pointed out that the murder rate has dropped 20%, which didn't seem to jibe with the number of homicide incidents I heard about last year.
Oh, yeah. In 2006, Kyle Huffs killed six people one night on Capitol Hill. If you were to disregard that one unusual mass killing, the murder rate reported by the SPD from 2006 to 2007 would have been static, at 24 people each year.
But there still feels like there were more murders than that. Did the SPD forget some?
I've been looking at the monthly census tract data for 2006 and 2007, and I don't see some of those who were killed around here last year.
The Seattle P-I reported a murder (and nearby suicide) on December 15, 2007, at a "house in the 8600 block of Beacon Avenue South."
Yet when you enter an address in the mid-8600s in the city's neighborhood crime statistics website, it shows you that there were no homicides in that whole census tract that month:
And the P-I also reported that my neighbor was shot and killed in his front yard in the 2100 block of S. Graham Street on September 9, 2007. (That note about how the P-I originally misidentified the neighborhood was put up after I chewed the reporter out for calling it Rainier Valley.)
Yet when you enter that address (I know the exact address, so that's what I used) in the city's neighborhood crime statistics website, it shows you that there were no homicides in that census tract that month:
I'm not saying there's anything fishy going on. I'm just saying that the city seems to be showing us bad data, and I'd love to see the real information instead. I'll e-mail my neighborhood's SPD liaison Mark Solomon ask him what's up with this.