PLEA partners and members contacted your Association about an alarming issue that they believe sheds light on the inaccurate kidnapping numbers that were presented by PPD management to Congress, the Council, and the community. One border-related kidnapping a week in Phoenix was a serious problem that deserved federal investment. A question that continues to pop up is: What would be the reason to inflate kidnapping numbers to present the problem as one border related kidnapping every day?
Operation Home Defense (SAP Grant Number 480201) was presented to the federal government to obtain grant money ($1.7M) to address the issue of border related kidnappings on 8-1-2009. The grant manager was listed as Lt. Laurel Burgett. On 10-26-09 Laurel Burgett signed a form where she assured the federal government that it was her “responsibility to keep appropriate documentation and statistics (emphasis in the signed document) that verify the effectiveness of all grant expenditures in accordance with the intent of the grant funding agency.”
One wonders if Lt. Burgett’s involvement along with retired Sgt. Andy Hill in a media company named Money Drop Productions LLC created a conflict in her ability to meet the obligation she signed for.
One wonders if the video from Money Drop Productions compromised the integrity of not only investigations but the ability to accurately report statistics to the federal government.
One wonders if the dissolution of Money Drop Productions on 12-10-10 was in any way connected with the commencement of the OIG investigation surrounding the false kidnapping numbers.
One wonders why Lt. Burgett didn’t share this information with the kidnapping panel on 4-11-11 and if she obtained Department permission (as required by PPD Operations order 3.13 6. B. (10)) to engage in outside work.
One wonders if other managers of Money Drop Productions have been present with video equipment at and during on-duty police operations (i.e. SAU search warrants, etc) with permission from a police chief or a member of the City Council.
One wonders if there’s a connection between inflated kidnapping numbers, federal grant money for wages, on-duty police operations, and Money Drop Productions and if this connection created a conflict of interest and a compromise in providing effective and efficient law enforcement services to our community.
Perhaps probing a little deeper will bring answers to the following questions recently asked by two of the members of the City’s panel charged with independently looking into the issue of flawed kidnapping statistics.
Judge Ryan: “Was there some sort of exaggeration to Congress to get the funds?”
Judge Patterson: “Why was ‘358’ defended so vigorously?”
The below Video was produced by Money Drop Productions LLC (a private corporation formed in May of 2010 and dissolved in December of 2010). Listed partners in this business corporation were PPD Lt. Laurel Burgett, retired PPD Sgt. Andy Hill, along with a civilian partner.
News 15 reports that the Office of Inspector General finds problems with the numbers