Feds to release Phoenix kidnapping findings

PHOENIX - The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General will release on Wednesday the findings of its investigation into Phoenix's kidnapping statistics, according to city leaders.

In December 2010, OIG agents began reviewing the city's kidnapping numbers after a whistleblower claimed that the numbers were inflated to receive millions of dollars in federal grant funds.  

The federal case surrounds the number of kidnappings that were reported in 2008.

That year, Phoenix Police reported 358 kidnappings.

Last year, the ABC15 Investigators exposed widespread inaccuracies with the statistics.

Our reports uncovered that more than 100 cases weren't kidnappings at all and revealed dozens of other questionable cases.

Our investigation also led to the removal of former Public Safety Manager Jack Harris.

The Phoenix Police department claimed the kidnappings were part of a border crime wave engulfing the city.

They warned that without federal aid the problem would spread across the country.

In response, Phoenix received a $2.4 million dollar grant.

Federal officials have declined to comment on the scope of their investigation.

However, last year, an initial OIG review was released.

It found that 109 cases counted as kidnappings should not have been counted, with another 85 in question.

In December, the OIG also found that Phoenix Police retaliated against the sergeant who blew the whistle about the faulty statistics.  

Several sources inside the Phoenix Police Department have also confirmed to ABC15 that federal agents have audited the grant funds and taken an inventory of supplies to make sure grants funds were properly spent.

Click here to see our full investigation: "Phoenix Kidnappings: Uncovering the Truth."

Print this article Back to Top