When it comes to how many police officers a community should have, is there a right number?
While Muskego Police Chief Paul Geiszler has stated that his department has been short-staffed, there are no federal or state—or even local—mandates for how many officers provide optimal protection and service. The International Association of Chiefs of Police in a recent patrol staffing and deployment study states plainly:
"Ready-made, universally applicable patrol staffing standards do not exist. Ratios, such as officers-per-thousand population, are totally inappropriate as a basis for staffing decisions."
Instead, the study says needs should be determined by a number of different factors, including:
- Number of calls for service
- Population size, density and composition
- Citizen demands for protective services
- Municipal resources
Muskego employs a total of 47, with 37 of those being officers, so for a population of slightly more than 24,000, that's about 1.5 officers for every thousand residents.
So, how does Muskego stack up against other communities in Wisconsin? Use this handy database to find out.
Data is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Crime in the United States report, which incorporates information reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies. This report covers 2011.