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IRE Radio Podcast | Cracking the Crime Stats
Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. On this week’s episode we’re talking about crime – everything from fact-checking police stats to building databases to track gun violence.
Here’s the lineup:
- Michael Berens of The Seattle Times gets things started with a story about an odd beam of light, some dead rabbits and a police chopper.
- Debra Juarez, news director at NBC 5 Chicago, talks about the ethics of naming suspects involved in a prostitution sting.
- Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News and Ben Poston of the Los Angeles Times explain how to spot red flags in crime stat data.
- David S. Fallis of the Washington Post walks through how he combined two data sets to track down the sources of guns used in crimes.
You can find and download previous podcast episodes on our Soundcloud page.
Looking for links to the stories, resources and events we discussed on this week's podcast? We've collected them for you.
- Watch NBC 5 Chicago’s story about the Cook County Sheriff’s Department prostitution sting.
- To read more about investigative ethics, download the spring IRE Journal.
- Read Steve Thompson’s story about how a change in the Dallas Police Department’s shoplifting policy sparked a drop in crime stats. Thompson went on to find more problems with the numbers.
- Listen to "Juking the stats? Delve into your police department's FBI crime data to find flaws," a 2013 IRE Conference panel featuring Ben Poston and Steve Thompson.
- Read Ben Poston's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation into crime stats. The paper found that police had underreported thousands of violent assaults, rapes, robberies and burglaries and failed to correct the problem while presenting flawed statistics to the public.
- Read David Fallis’ story on guns recovered in the Washington, DC area.
- You can check out the Post’s entire package on “The Hidden Lives of Guns” here.
- Listen to "Breaking out the heavy artillery - using data to track weapons," a 2014 CAR Conference panel featuring David S. Fallis and Griff Palmer (The New York Times).
- Browse the 2014 IRE Conference tipsheet library by clicking here.
- Meet the new members of IRE's Board of Directors.
- Register for the September Coding for Journalists Boot Camp.