Banking & Finance and Government

City among top 10 in police ROI

December 22, 2015
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The Grand Rapids Police Department was established in 1871. Photo via

An analysis that looks at how efficiently cities invest in law enforcement places Grand Rapids among the top 10 nationally in ROI.

Wallet Hub, a web-based financial resource destination for consumers and small business owners, ranked Grand Rapids eighth of the 104 most populated U.S. cities in the recently released 2016 Cities with the Best and Worst ROI on Police Spending analysis.

The analysis

The report evaluated more than 100 cities across the United States to identify how efficiently public funds were spent on police protection. Each city’s crime rate level and per-capita expenditure were taken into account when calculating their respective return on investment for law enforcement spending.

ROI findings

Wallet Hub ranked Grand Rapids eighth for best ROI on police spending, and considered the spending on law enforcement here more efficient than other cities such as Louisville, Indianapolis, Dallas, Milwaukee, Miami, Portland, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

While Grand Rapids’ crime rate of nearly 4.26 percent and its per-capita spending of about $297 were ranked 29th and 26th, respectively, during fiscal year 2012, its overall ranking reflected adjusted police spending levels by poverty rate, unemployment rate and median household income to control for the cities’ economic status differences. The adjusted ROI ranking placed Grand Rapids behind other Midwest cities such as first place Akron, Ohio, second place Dayton, Ohio, fifth place Detroit and seventh place Cleveland.

The unadjusted ROI rank placed Grand Rapids at 27th, while the five leading adjusted ROI cities of Akron (10th), Dayton (68th), Springfield, Massachusetts (15th), Syracuse (66th) and Detroit (93rd) also slipped in the same category.

The methodology

Wallet Hub measured how efficient the 104 most populated U.S. cities spent on law enforcement by dividing a total safety rate by police spending per capita, while taking into account property and violent crime rates.

In comparing the different cities, Wallet Hub used an adjusted per-capita police spending measure assuming all cities have an average for poverty rate, unemployment rate and median household income. The unadjusted ROI rank looked at the different city results before normalizing data by controlling for the three economic factors.

Cities with the Best ROI (adjusted rank)

1.       Akron, OH

2.       Dayton, OH

3.       Springfield, MA

4.       Syracuse, NY

5.       Detroit, MI

6.       Buffalo, NY

7.       Cleveland, OH

8.       Grand Rapids, MI

9.       Birmingham, AL

10.   Rochester, NY

11.   Louisville, KY

12.   Fresno, CA

13.   El Paso, TX

14.   Baton Rouge, LA

15.   Indianapolis, IN

16.   Kansas City, KS

17.   Pittsburgh, PA

18.   Worcester, MA

19.   Montgomery, AL

20.   New Orleans, LA

21.   Philadelphia, PA

22.   Lubbock, TX

23.   Lexington, KY

24.   Mobile, AL

25.   Columbus, GA

26.   Dallas, TX

27.   Tulsa, OK

28.   Hialeah, FL

29.   Cincinnati, OH

30.   Fort Wayne, IN

31.   Providence, RI

32.   Milwaukee, WI

33.   Miami, FL

34.   Modesto, CA

35.   Knoxville, TN

36.   Warren, MI

37.   Lincoln, NE

38.   San Antonio, TX

39.   Wichita, KS

40.   Spokane, WA

41.   Shreveport, LA

42.   Norfolk, VA

43.   Phoenix, AZ

44.   Houston, TX

45.   Omaha, NE

46.   Reno, NV

47.   Richmond, VA

48.   Corpus Christi, TX

49.   Greensboro, NC

50.   Stockton, CA

51.   Salt Lake City, UT

52.   Nashville, TN

53.   Garland, TX

54.   Memphis, TN

55.   Des Moines, IA

56.   Oklahoma City, OK

57.   Little Rock, AR

58.   Bakersfield, CA

59.   Durham, NC

60.   Arlington, TX

61.   Atlanta, GA

62.   Las Vegas, NV

63.   Saint Paul, MN

64.   Sacramento, CA

65.   Denver, CO

66.   Portland, OR

67.   Raleigh, NC

68.   Fort Worth, TX

69.   Jacksonville, FL

70.   Albuquerque, NM

71.   Aurora, CO

72.   Madison, WI

73.   Colorado Springs, CO

74.   Austin, TX

75.   Minneapolis, MN

76.   Mesa, AZ

77.   Santa Ana, CA

78.   Charlotte, NC

79.   Tacoma, WA

80.   Kansas City, MO

81.   Baltimore, MD

82.   San Diego, CA

83.   Riverside, CA

84.   Boston, MA

85.   Chesapeake, VA

86.   Anaheim, CA

87.   Virginia Beach, VA

88.   Tampa, FL

89.   Los Angeles, CA

90.   Oakland, CA

91.   Seattle, WA

92.   Long Beach, CA

93.   Yonkers, NY

94.   Saint Louis, MO

95.   Saint Petersburg, FL

96.   New York, NY

97.   Orlando, FL

98.   San Jose, CA

99.   San Francisco, CA

100.  Anchorage, AK

101.  Huntington Beach, CA

102.  Fort Lauderdale, FL

103.  Fremont, CA

104.  Washington, D.C. 

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