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July 2006

Revenues and Officer Retention, an issue brief published by the Center on Policy Initiatives found that the City of San Diego has one of the lowest ratios of police per resident as well as the highest ratio of crimes per police officer among any of California’s major cities.

Other important findings include:


  • Between 2000 and 2004, San Diego’s police force shrunk 3.8 percent even as the population continued to grow at an average rate of 1.31 every year.
  • In comparison to California’s four other largest cities, San Diego spends $246 per capita on police, the least amount spent towards police protection with the exception of San Jose.
  • The City of San Diego has one of the lowest ratios of sworn police officers in proportion to the population among the five largest cities in California.
  • The ratio of San Diego police officers to the number of crimes reported in the City is 26 to 1, the highest ratio among California’s largest cities.

The retention problems faced by the San Diego Police Department is an alarming consequence of the City’s decreased spending on this vital service along with managing the needs of a growing population.