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Does Caledonia Have Enough Police Officers?

Use this searchable database on Patch to see how your town compares with others around the state.

When it comes to how many police officers a community should have, is there a right number?

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:

  • Priorities
  • Number of calls for service
  • Population size, density and composition
  • Citizen demands for protective services
  • Municipal resources

Still, as the community of Caledonia grows, the calls for service continue to rise. Caledonia has a sworn strength of 29 full-time officers and 24,705 residents.

Caledonia's police staffing level are the lowest in the state, and roughly half of what the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends.

The department has 29 patrol officers and supervisors, for a ratio of just over 1.1 officers per 1,000 residents, well under the FBI recommendation of two officers per 1,000 residents. Police Chief Toby Schey told village officials in September that he wanted a plan in place to change that for the 2014 budget.

“But I think we have to have a strategic plan to add patrol officers," Schey said in September. "I would like to see three officers in next years budget. We’re currently at 1.1 officers per 1,000 we have in population and you will not see a lower staffed department in the state based on our population with the area we cover and the types of calls we handle.

“We’re between Milwaukee and Racine. It goes without saying that you all live here and you know what’s out there – but we keep it going. Like I said, it’s very hard to maintain those four officers per shift.”

Caledonia's violent crime rate of 2.78 per 1,000 in population well exceeds our neighboring communities. In Mount Pleasant, the violent crime rate is .87, in Oak Creek it's .87, and in Franklin it's .42.

The violent crime rate in Caledonia has also increased significantly.

Year

Violent crime rate

per 1,000

Property crime rate

per 1,000

2011

2.78

15.84

2010

2.26

13.72

2009

1.77

14.41

2008

1.1

8.8

2007

1.1

11.6

2006

.2

12.8

 

 

Source: FBI

 

However, the property crime rate is lower than other communities at 15.84 per 1,000 in population. Mount Pleasant was at 26.22, Oak Creek is at 33, and Franklin is at 17.61. But Caledonia doesn't have as large of a retail area than those other communities do.

Want to do more research to see how Caledonia stacks up against other communities in Wisconsin? Use this handy database to find out the violent crime rates in other communities and this database to find out the property crime rate in other communities.

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.

Caledonia Retiree November 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Caledonia covers many square miles. In fact, it used to be billed as the "largest town in Wisconsin". It's too bad we pay outrageous property tax levies for a school system that is one of (if not the) worst in the state but can't put that money to use hiring police officers which would benefit EVERYONE in the community!
Spotter November 28, 2012 at 01:16 PM
No
Spotter November 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM
If the cops would do their jobs as intended instead of running all over the county looking in bars for smokers we would have more than enough.
Gordie November 28, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hire what is recommended! Spotter, the cops are doing their damn job by looking for people that are sitting in the bar smoking. It's illegal to smoke in a tavern just for information..... If they didn't do that then I'm sure your the type of person that would complain about them not checking for smokers..... Oh ya, don't drink and drive either!
Spotter November 28, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Gordie: From what I hear there are four, one man squads per shift that patrol Caledonia. When they check out bars they go two at a time. Do the math, to we really need fifty percent of the shift cops checking for smokers? A lot of bars still allow smoking, if people don't like it they should go to non-smoking bars not call the cops just because they feel someone is getting away with something they shouldn't.

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