Monday, May 21, 2007

Too Few Police? or Too Much Crime?

We hear the rhetoric every week. We don't have enough police.

I had a chance to have dinner with a police chief in a well known California city a few weeks back. He was just named as police chief, so naturally, the conversation turned to Tulsa's search for a police chief. He has kept up with Tulsa's situation, since he has family here.

During that conversation I told him that Tulsa has a police shortage. He was truly surprised that I said that and he quickly said he did not think that was the case. That got me to thinking, perhaps I have just accepted what everyone is saying at face value. So I decided to look a bit further.....

You can check out my research here. Maybe you would like to take the comparisons further. Let's see how Tulsa compares to other midwestern cities regarding police and total city government expenses.

First of all, Tulsa, population 391,908 has 739 police officers paid $3,246,350. We have police-other personnel of 144 paid $400,944. Tulsa spends $13,899,429 for 4,066 total city employees.

What about Wichita? Population 355,426. 601 police officers paid $2,248,042; Police-other personnel of 230 paid $608,381. Wichita spends $9,941,031 for 2,934 total city employees.

How about Omaha? Population 399,357. 775 police officers paid $4,265,264; Police-other personnel of 179 paid $568,203. Omaha spends $12,234,790 for 2,564 total city employees.

Lastly, how about Colorado Springs? Population 371,182. 644 police officers paid $3,411,068; Police-other personnel of 281 paid $1,042,973. Colorado Springs spends $27,760,295 for 6,504 total city employees.

Perhaps we are not as short of police as we have been told.

More than likely, we just have too much crime, or too many criminals in our midst.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Consent Decree has probably made lots of police officers skittish about doing their duty.

Also, the kids in Tulsa Public Schools that behave badly get a gazillion chances before they have any meaningful consequences. So they grow up thinking they can get away with just about anything.

And yeah, the criminals have been getting meaner.