New website says Spokane "sucks" because of crime statistics | Crime
If you’re not a fan of the crime rate in Spokane, neither is the website Spokane Sucks. Signs have been pasted all around the city of Spokane, advertising www.spokanesucks.com.
A video published on Youtube explains with a female voice over that the city has lost focus on its priorities while local media says crime is decreasing. The video says that’s not the case. The video cites the website Neighborhood Scout for the city’s safety rating listing a 2 out of 100 based on the number of annual crimes in Spokane. Neighborhood Scout says a rating of 100 is the safest.
The Massachusetts-based company Location, Inc. runs Neighborhood Scout and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the safety rating for a city. The FBI’s number is determined by the amount of crimes reported by local law enforcement agencies.
The founder and CEO of Location, Inc., Andrew Schiller, Ph.D., says the number of reported crimes is divided by the population of a city based on the most recent count from the U.S. Census Bureau. That result is multiplied by 1,000, producing a crime rate per 1,000 people statistic.
Since they only use the most recent data from the FBI classified as “final, non-preliminary”, the data used to determine the 2 out of 100 rating is based on crimes reported in 2010. Crime data for 2011 has yet to be finalized by the FBI.
Schiller explained this methodology is used for all cities in their system.
The Spokane Sucks website is registered privately, but in the meta data, a Jared Bartlett, 28, from Post Falls, Idaho says it is his personal home page.
Bartlett, a former Gonzaga University student, goes by the online moniker “RikaKazak” and posted to a poker forum on Wednesday morning explaining his reasons to start a political action committee with the website Spokane Sucks.
He wrote: “So I'm making a website (spokanesucks.com) which is not up yet. We're making videos and going to post them on the web. And then I have some creative "attention grabbers" to draw traffic to the site.“
Bartlett currently lives in Post Falls, but he owns rental property in north and east Spokane.
Bartlett called KXLY on Thursday evening explaining the website’s name was not meant to be rude or offensive, but he wanted to grab people’s attention so they would take notice “and actually care”.
He says he’s not angry at the Spokane Police Department for recent crime statistics, but fed up at the lack of response when three of his eight rental properties were the target of break-ins.
“I’m not angry at the police department. ...I understand they’re overworked and they have so much work to do and they don’t have the manpower. So I’m just trying to draw attention to it so maybe increasing the amount of police officers will become a priority,” Bartlett.
Mayor David Condon released his proposed budget for 2013 earlier this week. The city has budgeted 276 commissioned officers for 2013 which is a decrease of 19 from 2012. 18 patrol positions are currently vacant and the city says they will be eliminating those positions. The city expects another 5-10 positions to go away in 2013 due to “natural attrition”.
Being a poker enthusiast, Bartlett says he used to own a home in Spokane, but moved to Post Falls after online poker was declared illegal in 2006.
The website was just the start for Bartlett. He says he walked 13 miles to post flyers throughout the city.
(This story was updated at 8:50 p.m. following a phone call with Bartlett.)