Costs Associated with Hiring a Police Officer week 5 discussion 1 response 2
Police personnel cost can be as much as 75% of the operating budget of a police
department. Do you think that this is money well spent?
Should we ask our law enforcement agencies to do more with less? Should
the technological advances in law enforcement replace physical police
officers? What impact would this have on the community? Support your
assertions with information from a scholarly source.
Our discussion first, then the
individuals response nee to tell the bad and good of post, list references
he Lamar Police Department spends
88% of its budget on all of the police personnel. This includes office
staff, animal control officers and code enforcement officers. This includes
all attached benefits and insurance for 25 people. This is average pay of
$56,689.24 for all employees, even the office of the Chief.
Over the years, I have seen more
than 75 people come and go from our department. Many move to the larger cities
where pay is higher, but so is the cost of living. This same condition is
discussed in the article concerning New Jersey Police Officers making a large
amount of money, but some is lost in the cost of living (Megerian,
Many years ago, we raised the base
salary above $36,000.00 per year as a starting wage to become competitive in
the job market. This money was well spent as applications began coming
in. But the problem was the officers were either in trouble or under
investigation with their current employer, the big cities, or not trained at
all. We have become and will probably remain a training agency for larger
departments unless another avenue of retention can be obtained or
I would argue that money to keep
those with training and experience is vital to a police department. The
cost for training new recruits and maintaining police officers is high.
The Chief of Police with Lamar Police Department advised that it costs
$10,000.00 just to equip a new recruit. There is added costs for training
time in the Field Training Process which is 16 weeks long. The costs are
incurred as we pay for a full-time officer as they are in training with our
department, so in essence we have two officers doing one person’s job.
This should be revisited in the budgeting process as a prohibitive cost to our
department. But, the opposite consideration takes into account the
limited access we have to qualified candidates.
When considering the costs, one must
see that the people working in the department are there for a reason.
They have been trained and are qualified to do the job. Their job is not
easy and assumes many risks that are not taken by other employees in other job
assignments. When considering Job Safety Analysis with our insurance
company, the risks in most call responses require a full sheet of paper.
Most JSA’s for other employees of the city do not require a full page for one
job. The level of knowledge, training requirements, and risks management
skills that must be maintained by police officers requires that pay be in
accordance with these levels. Several years ago, a wage-comparability
study (Mikesell, 2011) was completed in our department. We were
found to be repulsively low compared to many agencies throughout the
state. The pay was adjusted and stability was achieved for a few
years. This has since changed as officers are looking for higher pay
Police departments are limited in
the amount that budgets can grow. The populace can only support so much
and will eventually require leadership to reduce or at the very least limit
this budget as seen in Tempe Arizona (Boehnke, 2010).
Technology will assume some tasks
normally completed by law enforcement officers. Computers complete
analysis and reports that were traditional completed by staff. Cameras
and unmanned surveillance equipment can monitor locations of high importance
that were traditional manned by security or patrolled by police. This in
turn can reduce the amount of needed police officers.
It is important that the public see
the police and have positive interactions with them. They must see the
police serving the public. When this occurs, the public is much more apt
to pay the bill that is required. The interaction with the public is at the
core of community policing (Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2012).
When considering the impact of technology being used to replace police
officers, the community interaction with police officers becomes a more limited
aspect. Services and contacts would be more limited and may have an
opposing affect to the goals of community-policing.
M. (2010, January 14). Tempe Considers Laying Off Police Officers to Cut Costs.
The Arizona Republic. Retrieved from
C. (2010, September 19). N.J. Police Salaries Rank Highest in Nation with
Median Pay of $90,672. NJ.com. Retrieved from
J. L. (2011). Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the
Public Sector. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police Administration:
Structures, Processes, and Behavior (Vol. 8th Edition). Upper Saddle, New
Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved from