CompStat was supposed to fight crime. It ended up adding to it. We talked to “Reply All” host P.J. Vogt about how and why this happened.
The first time that P.J. Vogt, host of the Reply All podcast, heard about the crime-tracking computer program CompStat, he was watching the TV show The Wire. “I think they had a CompStat subplot where people were fudging numbers and hiding murders,” he says. “But I didn’t realize in real life how much the pressure from CompStat had shaped policing, both in terms of pushing cops in some cases to disappear serious crimes and also at the same time putting tremendous pressure on police officers to issue summonses and misdemeanors for low level, quality-of-life offenses.”