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Investigation shows Phoenix kidnapping statistics are skewed

Using Arizona's Open Records Law, Dave Biscobing of KNXV-TV in Phoenix recently uncovered discrepancies in kidnapping statistics used by the Phoenix Police Department to obtain more than $2 million in federal grant money. City leaders and Arizona Senator John McCain repeatedly cited the statistics, calling Phoenix the "Kidnapping Capital of the US." However, Biscobing's research found more than 100 of the 358 cases cited by Phoenix Police in 2008 were not kidnappings. The Phoenix Police Department cited vehicle impounds, assaults, and crimes that did not even happen in Phoenix as legitimate kidnappings. The morning after his initial report, the police department, mayor and city manager acknowledged the statistics were wrong and the police department's reporting system was flawed. Police Chief Jack Harris was reassigned and the city announced an outside audit. The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General is also conducting an audit of the kidnapping statistics.

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