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Brooklyn Shooting: How Many Police Officers Are Per 1,000 Residents?

10:08 PM, Aug 31, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville has been rocked by two shootings this week which killed three, wounded 12 and left an unborn child dead.

On the heels of those two shootings, there is word that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office faces losing dozens of police officers due to budget cuts and a grant which hasn't come through yet.

Nelson Cuba, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, "It's going to affect the inner city where crime is high and the good people in those cities will suffer more because of a few elected officials making certain decisions."

Cuba also said he doesn't think officers should take a pay cut in order to keep their jobs.

Studies looking at the ratio of a city's population to the number of police on the force indicate that cities larger than 250,000 people typically have -- on average -- 2.5 full time officers per 1,000 residents.

Jacksonville's ratio is similar.

According to the 2010 Census, Jacksonville has more than 821,000 people. According to the Fraternal Order of Police, Jacksonville has 1,674 sworn officers. That means there are two officers per 1,000 residents.

Cites with populations similar to Jacksonville's include San Jose, Calif., Indianapolis, and San Francisco.

San Jose has roughly one officer per 1,000 residents,

San Francisco has more officers per person at 2.74 officers per 1,000 people. Indianapolis has almost two officers per 1,000 people, just like Jacksonville.

However, Michael Hallett of the University of North Florida said you can't really look at population-to-police ratios or even compare law enforcement ratios from city to city.

"A simple ratio doesn't necessarily capture very effectively how many police officers you need," Hallett said.

"Some neighborhoods are worse than others. Some neighborhoods are sparsely populated. It's more of a work load question instead of a ratio population question."

First Coast News

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