When it comes to how many police officers a community should have, is there a right number?
There are no federal or state — or even local — mandates for how many officers provide optimal protection and service. The International Association of Chiefs of Police in a recent patrol staffing and deployment study states plainly:
"Ready-made, universally applicable patrol staffing standards do not exist. Ratios, such as officers-per-thousand population, are totally inappropriate as a basis for staffing decisions."
Instead, the study says needs should be determined by a number of different factors, including:
- Number of calls for service
- Population size, density and composition
- Citizen demands for protective services
- Municipal resources
Use this searchable database on Patch to find the different populations of municipalities across Wisconsin and see how your town ranks with police protection.
Data is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Crime in the United States report, which incorporates information reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies. This report covers 2011.