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Officer/Citizen Ratio??

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  • Officer/Citizen Ratio??

    I remember reading somewhere that the national average for Officer's to Civilians was 1 Officer per 5000 citizens. In other words, there should be 1 Officer on duty per 5000 citizens. (not the dept total) Does anyone know if this is correct, or can you provide the most recent data.

    Our City currently has 6 Officers on the street at once, excluding several double squad days. That would put us at 1 Officer per 10,000 citizens.
    There's no substitute for strength,
    and no excuse for a lack of it!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by azchopshopcop
    I remember reading somewhere that the national average for Officer's to Civilians was 1 Officer per 5000 citizens. In other words, there should be 1 Officer on duty per 5000 citizens. (not the dept total) Does anyone know if this is correct, or can you provide the most recent data.

    Our City currently has 6 Officers on the street at once, excluding several double squad days. That would put us at 1 Officer per 10,000 citizens.
    I believe the ratio is supposed to be one sworn officer for every five hundred residents. That is supposed to be the number in the department, not the number working the road. What has never made sense to me is that nothing is specified about the number of patrol officers; if you have ten administrative positions, a youth officer, an SRO, six detectives, an evidence technician, a traffic services coordinator, and fifteen patrol officers, that still counts as having 35 sworn officers.

    In a city of 60,000 souls you should have 120 sworn officers in your department, including detectives, administrators, and other badge-wielding hangers-on.
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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    • #3
      In Oregon it is about 1 per 1000, I think LAPD is 1 per 500 and NYPD is 1 per 400.
      Illegitimi non carborundum - Don't let the bastards grind you down.

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      • #4
        The ratio is a misnomer.

        Back in the 1960s, a federal commission performed a study of law enforcement in the United States. In their final report they observed that the average ratio of police officers to citizens in America was 1.5 per 1000. Again, this was merely an observation of conditions at the time. However, as time went by, this got misconstrued by some people who took it as a professional standard, when it was not.

        There is no clearly defined ratio. How many cops are needed will vary from city to city and depend on a variety of factors such as crime rates per 100,000 population, housing density, call load, geographic distance and size of a city, types of communities and neighborhoods, etc.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Officers per 1,000 population, major cities

          http://www.policepay.net/OfficersPer.asp
          Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

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          • #6
            If all our beats are full, we have 34 units per tour, not counting supervisors or specialized units.

            Some of the busier beats are two man cars. In a city of 200,000, we still often cannot keep up with calls for sevice. I think it's hard to staff based on a generic ratio. If we went by the 1 cop per 1,000 citizen theory...we'd have 200 cops. We actually have 700.
            Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

            Ronald Reagan

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            • #7
              We have about 1 per 1000...but if you only counted the partol shifts on a good night it's 1 to 12000..

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              • #8
                Read some news article saying the US Ratio for officers to civilians TOTAL (on or off duty) was 1 to 375. France was 1 to 274.

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                • #9
                  It depends on how you look at it. If you count total sworn road deputies, we have about a 1-12,500 ratio.

                  If you count how many per shift, it's a 1-34,500.
                  sigpic

                  The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.-Ulysses S. Grant

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                  • #10
                    We have a total of I think 28 officers and almost 30,000 residents. Obviously during the day the number goesd waaay above that. On some nights we can run 3 total people. Maybe a Sgt and 2 Police. that kinda sucks if its a friday or sat. night.. We can also go 2 or 3 full night shift without ONE call, other times its non stop. I think we need at least 4-5 more officers and a minimum of 4 people per shift.
                    Just my thoughts.
                    I got nothing for now

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                    • #11
                      The International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP) recommends 2.2 officers per 1000 citizens. Our city has 3.6 officers per 1000 citizens and our county has 1.8 officers per 1000 citizens. The recommendation was for municipalities. Sheriff departments are different because they also have correctional officers.

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