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Police Staffing Levels
Each year the Federal Bureau of Investigation provides a regional census concerning the number of law enforcement officers throughout the country. This census may be found in the F.B.I. publication titled: "Crime in the United States."

This publication assists readers in their assessment of appropriate police staffing levels based upon geographic location and population. For an example, communities within the New England region that have populations under 10,000 have average staffing levels of 3.0 officers per one thousand inhabitants. In larger cities with higher populations, the number of officers employed may be as high as 4.7 officers per one thousand inhabitants. (Dept. Justice, Crime in Unites States 2007)

In addition, census information reveals that three in eight police agencies throughout the country may employ less than ten officers. Of the 14,254 policing agencies throughout the country, each individual agency remains accountability to its specific service areas.

Clearly, there remain many other important factors outside of geographic location and population that determine acceptable police staffing levels. Some of these considerations might include: increased police activity, citizen demand for expected police services, localized crime concerns, community/police expectations, fear of crime, and an expanded community caretaker role for police. In response to staffing needs, many police administrators will implement a multifaceted approach when determining the necessary staffing levels in order to respond to specific public safety needs.

 

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