Date of Award
Planning and Urban Studies
The purpose of this dissertation is to identify an optimum ratio of police officers to city residents for the purpose of reducing year-to-year crime rates in cities with populations between 25,000 and 999,999. Current research in this area focuses on the impact of the number of police officers on overall crime rates. However, that body of research does not distinguish the impacts found in minimally-staffed, moderately-staffed, and highly-staffed agencies. By examining each of these three groups separately, a statistically significant relationship was determined to exist between per capita staffing levels and short-term property crime reduction for agencies with 1.50 to 2.75 police officers per 1,000 residents. No such relationship existed for agencies with fewer than 1.50 officers or greater than 2.75 officers per 1,000 residents. There was no identifiable relationship between staffing levels and violent crime categories. As a result of this finding, an optimum staffing range has been identified for local law enforcement agencies seeking to make immediate, short-term impacts on property crime.
Overman, April, "Maximizing the Impact of Local Police Agencies through Optimum Staffing Levels" (2014). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1884.