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Panel to review Phoenix’s kidnapping numbers

An independent panel of outside experts is being put together to review the Phoenix Police Department’s disputed kidnapping statistics.

Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher says the independent panel includes two retired judges and a retired FBI agent, among others.

They’ll begin meeting March 25 and have a progress report ready by May 3.

Earlier this month, Phoenix’s police chief was removed from day-to-day operations of the department amid scrutiny over kidnapping statistics that were used to win a federal grant.

U.S. Justice Department auditors are reviewing Phoenix’s numbers and the city has frozen any spending of the $1.7 million in grant money, which would support a squad that investigates kidnappings.

The panel will review Phoenix’s kidnapping statistics from 2007 through 2010 and review the process used to validate them.
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