May 19, 2011
Host: Ted Simons
Phoenix Kidnapping Statistics
- An independent panel charged with reviewing questionable kidnapping statistics reported by the Phoenix Police Department has completed its work. Retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael Ryan, a member of the Kidnapping Statistics Review Panel, discusses the panel’s findings.
- Michael Ryan - Retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice and member of the Kidnapping Statistics Review Panel
| Keywords: kidnapping
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Phoenix has been called the kidnapping capital of America, but the accuracy of kidnapping statistics from the Phoenix police department was called into question earlier this year. At the same time, there were allegations that police intentionally falsified statistics in order to win federal grants. It all led to the ouster of the Phoenix police chief and the formation of an independent pan tole investigate the matter. That investigation was residentially completed. Joining me now is one of the panel members, retired Arizona Supreme Court justice Michael Ryan. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.
Michael Ryan: You're welcome.
Ted Simons: Let's get a definition here of exactly what the panel was charged with and what you found.
Michael Ryan: Well, the panel was charged I think with first of all determining whether 40% of the kidnapping statistics that were used for the grants were incorrectly classified. The original review of that done by the department of justice indicated there was some question about the number used in the grants. The grants, to be fair, did not use a specific number. They said more than 300. And then when asked for a specific figure, a unit from the police department came out with 358, and it turned out of those 358 kidnapping reports or statistics, it turned out that about 38% of them were incorrectly classified as kidnappings.
Ted Simons: So they were incorrectly classified as kidnappings, which shows one problem. But it seemed like the nature of the complaints were -- was that there was some falsification going on to get this federal money.
Michael Ryan: Right. And we -- the panel looked at that very hard, and we looked at it very closely, and we simply could not find that was the reason. That there was any intentional misleading or inflating the numbers. And that was a couple reasons. One was, the 2008 figures were developed before any idea or any grant proposals were out there. And the other reason was that the -- there were problems with the process that Phoenix Police Department used this for managing their cases. It's called the pay system. Police automated computerized entry system. And case entry system. And it is an antiquated system, and so when you draw figures or when you draw statistics from that system, it becomes -- it's not very accurate. Because of the way it works.
Ted Simons: Now, when this first started, whey someone from the panel when things were getting going, and she was saying it's quite possible that because no one was getting the reporting completely accurate and no one really knew how to report and even the definition of what was a kidnapping, there could be more kidnappings as opposed to fewer kidnappings, and it sounds like there were.
Michael Ryan: Right. The people who raised the allegations that there were far fewer kidnappings, 300 and some kidnappings in 2008 were using a very narrow definition of kidnapping. The Arizona statute, 13-1304 that defines kidnapping is much broader. And when we looked at the police reports for 2008, and we did random reviews of those police reports, and many of us on the panel have read or had read police reports in our prior careers, and were familiar with them, we found that they were indeed kidnappings that were underreported and they were kidnappings that were recorded as kidnappings that were in actuality not kidnappings.
Ted Simons: So the bottom line here is, and you said this earlier, there was no evidence of intentional misrepresentation of these numbers. Correct?
Michael Ryan: No, because at the time they -- the year they chose, there was no motivation to inflate the numbers for that year.
Ted Simons: Was there evidence of a cover up?
Michael Ryan: No. I don't think so. And the only thing I would say is that what disturbed me in this process, and I think the other panel members were concerned with too, and it says in -- it does say in our report that when the controversy arose, particularly from August of 2010 through the end of the year of 2010, the police department was being criticized both by officers and media that their numbers were wrong. And then when the number 358. And then when the office of the inspector general from the department of justice came in and said, yes, those numbers are not quite accurate, then it really embarrassed the police department. And my point is that they should have acted on those complaints sooner.
Ted Simons: With that in mind, did the errors and mistakes that you did find, do you think they justified the fallout from here? Including having to go through your investigation?
Michael Ryan: That's a good question. I think it did serve a purpose. It exposed the problems with the computerized system that they used for case reporting and case management. And that they need to update that system. The primary system they use is more than -- almost 25 years and needs improvement. Also, greater emphasis needs to be made on -- with line officers, supervisors, and detectives on accurately recording cases. What they are. Because those numbers will tell police leadership where resources should go. And if they're not accurate, they're sending resources in the wrong places, and the wrong areas.
Ted Simons: Last question before you go, whenever there's an independent panel, those who don't quite get what they want wonder about just how independent that panel was. Who was on this panel?
Michael Ryan: Karen Thorson, who is a former assistant city manager from Tucson, and she has a company here in town. She was our chair. We had a professor from ASU criminal -- from the criminal justice department, professor Mike White. We had Larry McCormack, a retired FBI agent, former agent in charge in Kansas City, great experience in the FBI. And we had retired Judge Cecil Patterson from the Arizona court of appeals who also had a long career in criminal justice issues.
Ted Simons: And the panel pretty much confident that what you found is what you found.
Michael Ryan: Absolutely. There was no dissent, no question about what our conclusions that we reached were substantiated.
Ted Simons: All right. Justice Ryan, good to see you.
Michael Ryan: Thank you.
Sustainability: SRP Sustainable Energy
- On May 23rd, Salt River Project’s Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a plan to increase the amount of renewable energy it produces and reduce its energy load through energy efficiencies. Discussing the plan are Salt River Project officials Debbie Kimberly and John Coggins; Jeff Schlegel of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project; and Amanda Ormond, a clean energy consultant who is also an SRP customer.
- Debbie Kimberly - SRP
- John Coggins - SRP
- Jeff Schlegel - Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
- Amanda Ormond - Clean Energy Consultant
Ted Simons: "Horizon's" ongoing coverage of issues related to sustainability continues tonight with a look at sustainable energy. Investor-owned utilities like APS and Tucson electric power are required to meet standards adopted by the Arizona corporation commission for energy efficiency and renewable energy. They must get 15% of the power they sell from renewable sources by 2025 and by helping customers conserve energy, they have to cut their energy demand 22% by 2020. But salt river project doesn't have to meet the same requirements. Instead it adopt its own guidelines and on Monday SRP's board is scheduled to vote on a set of revisions. Here to talk about SRP's sustainable portfolio principles is Debbie Kimberly, manager of energy efficiency and policy for SRP. Amanda Ormond, an SRP customer, clean energy consultant, and former director of Arizona's energy office. John Coggins, SRP's manager of resource planning and development, and Jeff Schlegel, Arizona representative for the southwest energy efficiency project. Good to have you all here. Thanks for joining us. Debbie, what are we talking about, sustainable principles. Define the term for us.
Debbie Kimberly: Sustainable principles really refers to our sustainable portfolio. SRP has targets that originally were set in 2004. Our publicly elected board who regulates -- we're not regulated by the Arizona corporation commission, our board of directors regulates SRP, they emamended those in 2006 and they are now looking to amend them again come Monday. Sustainable resources we define to include conventional renewable generation, hydroelectric generation, both large and small hydro, energy efficiency programs, pricing programs, and one thing that we would like to include is the ability to have purchased renewable energy credits known as RECs count toward meeting our standards. Currently we have a standard that requires that we get 5% of our retail requirements from those sustainable resources, right now escalating to 15% by 2025. Management has recommended to our board that we significantly increase the target and as well accelerate the time frame for meeting our target.
Ted Simons: The idea of these revisions now, good idea?
Amanda Ormond: It is. We're really pleased to see that SRP is looking at what do we do to further clean energy. But when looking at it compared to other electric utilities both in Arizona and then outside the state, their goals are not as aggressive as they could be. And from my perspective, the construction of how they put together this standard is kind of convoluted and really hard to understand how much renewable energy will actually be procured as a result of this standard.
Ted Simons: And I want to get to that in a second, but before we get any further, we mention add couple of times here that SRP does not have to do the same kind of things other utilities have to do. Why?
John Coggins: Well, SRP is a political subdivision of the state of Arizona. And so as such we're not regulated by the Arizona corporation commission as Debbie mentioned. We have an elected board of directors and they serve as our regulatory body.
Ted Simons: OK. The idea that these revisions may be convoluted, respond to that.
John Coggins: Well, I think they're fairly straightforward from my perspective. What we've done is combined energy efficiency and renewable resources into one goal. And one of the big drivers for that is to maintain flexibility to choose options that represent the lowest cost for SRP customers or to allow for flexibility in terms of technologies that may be evolving that we don't anticipate currently. And we want to be able to move between those technologies and achieve our goals with the lowest reasonable cost.
Ted Simons: And we're seek a graphic right now that shows the ideas and the goal that you are talk about. But Jeff, the idea of combining energy efficiency and renewable energy is that a good idea?
Jeff Schlegel: I don't think it's a good idea. I think it's good to have -- the things SRP has been doing recently, we've seen lots of progress, we have applauded SRP for progress it's made both in renewable energy and energy efficiency, but the SRP customers would benefit even more from higher goals and separate goals. The commission, the Arizona Corporation Commission regulating the investor owned utilities, they have separate goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Those -- in 2020 they would sum to 22% or 20% energy savings, plus about 10% renewable energy, they'd sum to about 30% goal. SRP's goal is roughly 20% by that same year. I understand that combined standard provides flexibility for SRP and for management, but it makes it a little harder to know how much efficiency and how much renewables you're getting.
Ted Simons: The idea of flexibility on one side, but a lack of vision to see what exactly is going on on the other, talk to us about that.
Debbie Kimberly: Sure. One of the things I think is important to understand is that SRP's purpose is to serve its customers at the lowest possible cost. While at the same time trying to reduce emissions. And when you combine energy efficiency with supply side resources, you're putting energy efficiency on an equal footing and, we all know, I don't think we'd get any disagreement from Amanda and Jeff, energy efficiency is the lowest cost resource. We want to have the flexibility as john said to be able to make trade-offs. I would note that when you compare as Jeff said the additive standards from the year 2006 to the year 2014, SRP's standards is actually higher than the additive standard for the Arizona Corporation Commission. It's in 2014 that you begin to see the divergence. We have pledged to increase our education, we've put out a sustainable portfolio annual report, we're working very hard at putting more information online for our customers and stakeholders. I think we engaged in a very productive process starting in January with three stakeholder meetings, individual meetings with Amanda, Jeff, and other stakeholders, countless hours of dialogue, and I view Monday's meeting not as the finish line, but as a milestone in continuing that dialogue with stakeholders. But we want to have the flexibility to be able to pursue different options, frankly as technologies change.
Ted Simons: How do you -- talk about that dynamic. Again, you've got the market forces to consider, you've got money to consider, and costs. And you've also got companies trying to also do its job as far as renewables. How do you work the dynamic.
Amanda Ormond: Let me try to paint the big picture. SRP gets 59% of all their energy from coal-fire power plants. Another 9% from gas. So that's 68% of all the energy they sell to customers is fossil fuels. Most customers I think from most polling and the polling that SRP has done, want to see a reduction in carbon and in fossil fuels and a move towards clean energy. 20 years from now according to their charts, they're going to be at 64% fossil generation. So in 10 years they're only going to move from 68% to 64%. That's not a very big shift. We want to see more clean energy because clean energy is stable in price. It's the number one benefit. Renewable energy, when you put it in the ground today, it will be that same price or a known price for 30 years. So for customers, that's really good. The big picture is, you've got all these carbon-based resource and we're not really shifting away from them if you look at the big picture.
Ted Simons: I'm hearing not aggressive enough on your end. Talk to us about that.
John Coggins: I would say our resource portfolio is very similar to a lot of other utilities, Frankly. Coal is one of the major sources of energy throughout the United States, approximately 40-50% of all generation in the U.S. is coal-based today. So we're all moving towards cleaner energy and that is a goal of ours. I think it's important to do that in a way where we balance the cost of these new resources and the goals to reduce emissions, and we have to find that right now.
Jeff Schlegel: To that end, I think SRP -- it's a good process, an open process many of us have thanked SRP for that and I think we've seen some significant progress. I think we're looking for more good things N terms of energy efficiency, SRP did meet us partway. Though did increase commitment to energy efficiency, they increased their goals, they set a goal within a goal that ramps up over time and to us we see that as progress. I think if SRP ran this same process two or three years from now you'd see SRP committing to increase goals again. That's where we want to go.
Ted Simons: We're looking right now at the incremental energy efficiency savings and the proposal that you've got going here. What are we looking at?
Debbie Kimberly: One of the things stakeholders told us was that they wanted to see a separate energy efficiency goal. So we compromised. We listened to stake holders and all of these meeting and surveys and within the goal, as Jeff Said, we decided that we would set a goal for each and every year out through the time horizon ending in 2020. So that in -- for the next three years starting with the current fiscal year, savings from energy efficiency amount to 1.5% of retail sales, it ramps up for the follow three years to 1.75% and the final three years ending in 2020, to 2%. We've compared that on this graph with the annual incremental savings goal set by the corporation commission. So the graph shows you that in the first year our goal is higher, and thereafter we're a little bit under. And I would like to compliment Jeff for his involvement in helping us reach some of these decisions. The fact of the matter is, this is not the finish line, we look to do this periodically and I can definitely see that in the next three years we'll be sitting down again and engaging stakeholders in a process that is transparent and involves two-way communication.
Ted Simons: When you saw that graph and saw the red line, going up with the ACC requirement and such, but not too far away was SRP's proposals, what did you see?
Amanda Gorman: That was just efficiency component. On the renewable side, it's not quite as clear. The efficiency side has specific goals. But the renewables doesn't, and one of the provisions that's in the proposal right now is to buy these renewable energy credits or certificates, and the way that SRP has structured that project -- that provision is that up to a quarter of the entire standard can be met by these RECs, and SRP can go buy renewability energy from all over the country and from Eastern Canada and sometime in the future maybe from Mexico. Because they've chosen a region to buy from. In most utilities, if they're going to use -- if they're going to buy a REC the energy has to be physically delivered or able to be delivered to the SRP service territory. SRP is not doing that, so essentially what they're doing is they're saying, we're going to go out and buy pieces of paper that represent that energies being built somewhere in the United States. But we're not actually buying the energy. I think that's one of the reasons you don't see the big shift in the fossil fuel numbers, because they're not buying the energy.
John Coggins: Just to put some context around Amanda's comments, when we look at the states across the country that have renewable portfolio standards, which are approximately 29 states have those standards, 25 of those 29 states allow for RECs to be included in the -- in meeting the compliance associated with the portfolio. So this is really not a new concept, and in fact, SRP believes it may be a way to enhance the development of renewable resources. Renewables are specific to geographic regions. So, for example, Arizona has a lot of sunshine and is a good state for solar resources. But maybe the Midwest has wind, and is a better for that type of resource and biomass in the Southeast. So one difficulty we have with renewables today is moving that energy from the regions that can best produce it to where the customers are.
Jim Small: The idea of mix and match and doing the best with what you've got, as opposed to let's get some jobs here, some benefits here, we've got two different ideas here. What do you see?
Jeff Schlegle: I think on the efficiency side, it's clearer. I think the addition of the individual goal the year by year annual savings goals in the graph that you showed previously, the way I look at that graph, on the plus side you can see SRP's commitment and continued commitment in terms much the savings goals ramp up over time. To us that's a good thing. At the same time I see a remaining gap between the red and blue line between the commission standard and SRP, and that gap has closed and gotten very close over time. It overlapped in the first year where SRP is higher. And that's a sign of SRP committing more resources to energy efficiency which provide energy resources to customers but also reduce customer energy bills. So to me that's a good balance that SRP is trying to achieve, let's get resources that help customers and let's do it in a way that lowers their bill. I think what we'd like to see over time is SRP take that bottom line and continue to slope it up. Again, I believe as Debbie knows we'll be doing that again over the next few years and right back at it the next time this is looked at.
Ted Simons: Last question for all of you, a couple minutes left. What do you want your customers, the public, to learn from this discussion? To understand from what we're talking about here?
Debbie Kimberly: What I would like our customers to know is that SRP is doing everything we can to ensure that we're undertaking emissions control in the most cost effective way possible. We've listened to our customers, we want to be flexible in terms of the options that we pursue. But SRP doesn't have shareholders per se. Our business, our mission is to provide reliable, low-cost, water and power. So that's what this process has been about. How can we achieve these very ambitious goals but in the most cost effective way possible. And I think the process has been strengthened because of the involvement of people like Amanda, Jeff, and all of the other stake holders.
Ted Simons: Very quickly, what have you got?
Amanda Ormond: I'd like people to know energy prices are going to rise over time F we stop doing clean energy now, they're still going to go up in price. So we have a choice. What do you want to spend your money on? For my money, I want SRP to be doing more clean energy because it means stable prices in the future, jobs and economic development, air quality benefits here.
Ted Simons: Quickly, please.
John Coggins: I think we're all looking for the same thing here. We're trying to clean up emissions and reduce emission and do it at a reasonable cost. And again, I think that's what our program is all about that's what we're trying to achieve.
Jeff Schlegel: Efficiencies, lowest cost to customers, reduce energy bills, doing more is a good thing, it would reduce the emission and provide benefits to customers as well as jobs in our local economy. It's a win-win-win all around.
Ted Simons: Great discussion. Thank you all for joining on us "Horizon."
All: Thank you.