Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Gladstone, David

Second Advisor

Kiefer, John

Third Advisor

Arey, James

Fourth Advisor

Villavaso, Stephen

Fifth Advisor

Unter, Heidi


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.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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Urban Studies Commons