Friday, May 22, 2015

Pace quickens

From time to time I've blogged about the population estimates that are released annually by the United States Census Bureau. Last week, the estimate for Lincoln's population as of July 1, 2014 was released. The estimates are always for the preceding year. I was surprised to see Lincoln's estimate at 272,996. That's over 1,000 more people than I had expected.

The pace of growth seems to have quickened between 2013 and 2014, to 1.5%. We added 4,041 souls to the City between those two July 1 estimates. To put that in perspective, that's about the size of Cozad or Fairbury--pretty substantial 'burgs by Nebraska standards.

Since we now have an authoritative 2014 population estimate, and it's higher than expected, it will affect the crime rate statistics in a positive way. When I plug the new population figure into the spreadsheet, the violent Part 1 crime rate for 2014 will be 3.4 offenses per thousand population, rather than 3.6, and the property Part 1 crime rate will be 33, rather than 33.2.


Anonymous said...

Yet the number of officers on the street continues to diminish.

Anonymous said...

I hate to burst your bubble director but I have a feeling many property crimes just go unreported. With much of the insurance deductibles being over $500 some folks think it isn't worth the hassle, especially when an Insurance company will use that as an excuse to raise rates even though they didn't pay out.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

It's exasperating to have to bring up the difference between actual crime rates and reported rates, but even a few law enforcement professionals seem to like to ignore it in favor of rah rah-ing the team of local; government. Shine a light on what makes us look good, not on that which does not.

Tom Casady said...


Not exactly accurate: four officers are added during the current biennial budget.

Gun Nut,

We know from research that only about half of all Part 1 crimes are reported to the police--it varies by type. Part 1 Crime Rates are, and always have been, crime reported to the police.


Are you beating me up about this? Are we the only City that compiles its crime rates? Has this changed over the past 70 years since the FBI UCR began?

Anonymous said...

The director is correct. We added a whopping four officers to the budget. Two of which are paid for by a grant if I'm not mistaken. However, that huge number of FOUR, does not help when the population continues to grow as it does. Now, we have 1.17 officers per 1,000 residents in Lincoln. I'm pretty sure that might be a new low. However, the politicians will tell you that is fine because calls for service are still going down. You want an accurate feeling, ask the guys/gals working the street. Morale is at an all time low, which coincidentally goes along with the numbers of officer per residents. Add 10+ officers on injury or military leave and it gets even worse for those taking the "dwindling" calls. They need more officers before crime starts increasing in the city and they are playing catch up instead of getting ahead of the problems.

Anonymous said...

Question for you. Why is it that when police officers respond to a call for service it only counts as one call for service on their Stats, no matter how many officers respond? However, when multiple fire units respond to the same fire/medical call for service, each responding fire rig counts as a separate call for service? As you know there's been times when 15+ Officers have responded to calls, such as a robbery, homicide, serious assault etc. and it only counted as one call for service on the police stats. This difference in documenting calls for service with each agency would have a huge affect on their stats would it not?

Tom Casady said...


Not quite accurate. LF&R and other fire departments typically report BOTH the number of unique incidents--regardless of how many units respond--and also the number of unit responses. LPD CFS = LF&R Incidents. LPD collects data on the number of "unit responses," too, but generally police departments do not report that as a measure of workload, rather just CFS. There are few LF&R Incidents that involve a single unit; conversely, most LPD CFS are single unit, and a smaller percentage involve multiple units. Just remember: LF&R Incidents = LPD CFS. In 2014, that would be about 22,000 incidents for LF&R and 119,000 CFS for LPD. I'm not certain, because I've never calculated this, but my guess is that LPD "unit responses" would be slightly less than double CFS, around 200,000 or so; whereas I know that LF&R unit response are well over double the number of incidents--just under 56,000 in 2014.