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Study finds St. Pete ranks poorly among big cities in police-spending efficiency

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg taxpayers may not be seeing such a great return on their investment in the city’s police force.

According to, of the 104 most populated U.S. cities, St. Pete ranked 95th in police spending efficiency.

The personal finance website came up with the rankings — which they call their “ROI (return on investment) on law-enforcement spending” ratings — based on crime rates and per capita expenditures on police forces.

St. Pete’s crime rate came in at 5.92 percent, which ranked 67th in that category compared to the other cities examined.

Meanwhile, the city’s per capita spending on police forces came in at $566, good enough — like its overall ROI ranking — for 95th place in that category.

Cities with the Best ROI on Police Spending

Cities with the Worst ROI on Police Spending


Akron, OH


St. Petersburg, FL


Dayton, OH


New York, NY


Springfield, MA


Orlando, FL


Syracuse, NY


San Jose, CA


Detroit, MI


San Francisco, CA


Buffalo, NY


Anchorage, AK


Cleveland, OH


Huntington Beach, CA


Grand Rapids, MI


Fort Lauderdale, FL


Birmingham, AL


Fremont, CA


Rochester, NY


Washington, D.C.

Comparing the Best & Worst

  • Police spending per capita is highest in Washington, six times more than in Lexington, Ky., which has the lowest.
  • The crime rate is highest in Little Rock, Ark., five times above that of Yonkers, N.Y., which has the lowest.
  • The poverty rate is highest in Detroit, six times above that of Fremont, Calif., which has the lowest.
  • The median household income is highest in Fremont, Calif., four times above that of Detroit, which has the lowest.
  • The unemployment rate is highest in Detroit, six times above that of Lincoln, Neb., which has the lowest.

For the full report, visit

Data used for the study came from the 2012 fiscal year. It was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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