Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When Things Are Bad, Would You Pay For More Cops?

Photo by: Zuzu / Wikimedia / CCbySA3.0
We've all watched as Detroit and other Rust Belt communities struggle with economic woes. These economic problems have hit police departments hard as agencies lay off or reduce the number of cops on the beat. There was a piece over at The Detroit News that looked at a poll of Detroit residents about public safety.
The survey found that 41 percent of residents identified a lack of police on patrols as the biggest safety problem, followed by abandoned houses, 23 percent, and gangs, 10 percent.

A strong majority — 60 percent — said they would pay more in taxes for more police and firefighters. The city's police force has fallen to 2,100 officers from 2,700 in 2005.
Prior to this survey being released the Detroit City Council blocked a move to raise taxes in order to pay for more police. It will be interesting to see if their city government gives in and reverses course. 

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you Scott for a very much debated topic. As I'm sure you are aware, this issue (effectiveness of more police) has been debated for many years now. And rightfully so. Many, or should I say most, social science researchers, say nix to additional officers. They also point to the Kansas City study of 1972-73 as one study that is proof that
    "there is virtually no relationship between the police presence and crime." (What Works, Worrall, 2008, p48).
    I personally believe that there is some basis in Wilson's and Kelling's broken window theory.
    I also believe that if John Q. Public sees a police presence in his community, whether effective or not statistically, people feel safer.
    Good post,,,great topic,,,and I think will be one to be debated for some time to come.


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