Sunday, April 10, 2016

Checking Gary Edwards' Math

Former Thurston County Sheriff Gary Edwards is running for county commissioner. So, it would make a lot of sense that he's making public safety (more cops on the streets, or deputies on the road) a campaign priority.

Number two in fact:


I can't disagree with his statement that the number of deputies hasn't increased in over 20 years, but I thought I'd check his population numbers.

As I've been reminded, the Thurston County Sheriff only works in the unincorporated parts of the county. So, "the population" that his statement refers to must be the unincorporated population. Otherwise, the statement wouldn't be unnecessarily inflated.

But, either way, he's wrong.


1995 Most recent Difference
Thurston 192,013 262,388 70,375
Lacey 26,419 44,919
Olympia 39,292 48,338
Yelm 2,242 8,223
Tenino 1,299 1709
Rainier 1,350 1,923
Tumwater 11,534 18,820
Incorporated subtotal 82,136 123,932
Thurston unincorporated 109,877 138,456 28,579

He could use the top number, the total difference between Thurston County in 1995 and right now and be closer to his 60,000 number. But lumping in the populations of cities covered by their own police forces would be misleading.

Or, he could cut his number in half and be more accurate. But, the number would seem less impressive, especially against a six figure total population figure.

What really impacts me is that this table took me all of ten minutes to put together. Getting the accurate number wasn't hard for me, Edwards should have bothered to do the same work. Not doing so make it seem like to me that this is more along the lines of something he heard somewhere and decided to make a campaign platform.

It is also worth noting that a total population is not a very good standard for judging the effectiveness of policing. What would be a better standard would be comparing crime rates in 1995 and 2016, right?

5 comments:

Ed Lewis said...

Article is also misleading.i am positive those in the city travel and recreate in the county and are the ones prone to needing sheriff assistance

Ed Lewis said...

Article is also misleading.i am positive those in the city travel and recreate in the county and are the ones prone to needing sheriff assistance

Who Watches Who Governs? said...

Here is some more math: https://www.wethegoverned.com/sandra-romero-the-200-million-commissioner/

Who Watches Who Governs? said...

More inconvenient math in Thurston: https://www.wethegoverned.com/thurston-county-spends-8-million-and-18-years-to-make-a-4-million-empty-building-worth-2-million/

Who Watches Who Governs? said...

Here is some math Emmett will appreciate: https://www.wethegoverned.com/thurston-county-invents-42000-gopher-tax-for-new-homeowners/ , and note that this article has been shared on Facebook 6.4K+ times over the last month - more math that can be appreciated.