Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Do the Police Cost ?

A couple weeks ago the Enquirer posted an article about what citizens pay for the police force. They framed it as police per citizen. One of the commenters stated that police per crime was a better comparison, so I hacked together this handy chart using City-Data & the figures the Fishwrap reported.
What Cincinnati Columbus Cleveland Dayton Youngstown
Murders per 100,000 16.5 10.9 20.0 25.5 30.6
Raoes per 100,000 70.5 75.6 86.9 59.5 56.9
Robberies per 100,000 681.1 447.1 828.2 503.4 440.2
Assaults per 100,000 423.9 169.6 450.4 419.7 661.0
Burglaries per 100,000 1884.8 1920.4 2149.4 2120.7 2896.9
Thefts per 100,000 3751.3 3956.3 2532.6 3224.3 2423.3
City-data crime index 697.8 587.1 777.0 651.4 719.8
Residents per officer 301 402 277 394 444
Spending per resident $308.40 $344.58 $403.36 $289.25 $251.29

As you can see, you pretty much get what you pay for. I used incidents per 100,00 & ignored the raw numbers. That would probably not sit well with the Fishwrap commenter but nothing much seems to sit well with the average colicky Fishwrap commenter.
The weirdest thing about City-Data's numbers is the very low number of assaults in Columbus. Many robberies involve assault, rape is an assault by definition, so maybe Columbus just looks at the other charge & finds a separate assault charge superfluous? Rape seems kinda high in Columbus but it is the seat of the state government, so.....
Youngstown seems to be doing things on the cheap & it doesn't look like it's paying off. Cleveland pays through the nose, however & it doesn't seem to be doing them much better.
Of the City-Data "crime index", they say higher means more crime with the U.S. average being 319.2. Ohio's large cities are averaging 686.2.
Dunno if this gives a better view of things or not.


COAST said...

It makes a helluva lot more sense than the Fishwrap's analysis. Why in the world would anyone staff a police department based on the number of law-abiding citizens they have? You should staff a police department based on the level of crime you have.

Based on that, Cincinnati looks pretty good:
City Spending per Crime
Cincinnati $4,517
Columbus $5,237
Cleveland $6,648
Dayton $4,553
Youngstown $3,861

Quimbob said...

How are you figuring that?

COAST said...

Added up all the various crime figures you gave for each city:
City Crimes per 100,000
Cincinnati 6,828
Columbus 6,580
Cleveland 6,068
Dayton 6,353
Youngstown 6,509

Multiply each of those by Fishwrap's population, then divide by 100,000 to get total number of crimes:
Cincinnati 22,738
Columbus 50,621
Cleveland 26,173
Dayton 9,774
Youngstown 4,714

Then divide Fishwrap's budget figure by total crimes to get spending per crime.

Quimbob said...

yeah, it's not "right". Looking at the number of "calls for service" it works out to more like $350/incident.
Hell, there was almost 1 call for service for every resident of the city in 09. In 29 years, I have called the cops once.
I get the impression we are propping up our police force to be nurse maids for a bunch of people who just can't get along without their parents.