We begin by asking the reader, what do you think is the toughest aspect of being a police o¦cer? Many might think it is wrestling with a suspect; perhaps making split second decisions about shooting or not shooting; some might even think it is concern about being shot or seeing a fellow o¦cer hurt; perhaps dealing with an unsympathetic member of the public. Based on our detailed conversations with o¦cers, their worries rarely touch on these critical aspects of their job. ‰ese important concerns pale in comparison to their most common complaint and worry; most o¦cers —nd that dealing with upper management is the most challenging part of their job. Due to the pressures of upper management, o¦cers worry if they can meet their quotas of tickets and arrests. ‰ey worry about whether their commanding o¦cer will return to the precinct a®er experiencing a bad Compstat meeting at headquarters. One o¦cer who spoke to us advised, “My job is to make sure we don’t take a hit on a number unless we have to.” What he is referring to is making sure the numbers of reports for serious crimes are down. Unfortunately, actual crime has become a secondary issue. As long as the numbers of crime reports appear to be decreasing, the upper echelon is kept satiated. O¦cers are keenly aware that they somehow need to keep these

numbers down so the commander will not be exposed to the wrath of the high-ranking o¦cials running Compstat meetings. While this may not be the intent of Compstat, it is how the message has —ltered down to the street o¦cer. ‰us, the words of those running Compstat meetings may say one thing, yet that is not the message that is heard. Rather, it is the fear generated in commanders that resonates through the job. Regardless of the verbiage used by the upper echelon, the message being sent is one of fear-not reason, not crime —ghting, not teamwork, not helping victims, but fear, leading to pressure to make the numbers look “right.”