Police and Security Worker Recruitment Maps

This project models the number of police and other "security workers" that is expected in each block group in the United States based on that area's characteristics. Security workers are defined as men and women in the "protective service occupations," including firefighters, law enforcement workers, private security, and other prevention and protective service workers—and their supervisors. A block group is a geographical unit defined by the Census Bureau and typically has between 600 and 3,000 residents. A security worker's location is defined as his or her place of residence. The actual number of security workers is then compared with the expected number in order to identify which areas are "underproducing" or "overproducing." Police departments, for example, can use the data to focus their employee recruiting activities where they will be most effective.

Using the Maps

Select a location from the list below. The map will appear first, followed by a color-coded layer a few seconds later. Clicking on the map will display each block group's actual number of security workers, the predicted number, and the population. Drag the map or zoom in to find a specific location.

Difference between actual and predicted number of security workers


The methodology behind the estimation of "expected number of security workers" was developed originally for the Los Angeles Police Department and is described in To Protect and to Serve: Enhancing the Efficiency of LAPD Recruiting. A neighborhood's estimated number of security workers depends on the state, whether the neighborhood is urban, the race distribution, the age distribution, education distribution, household composition, average marital status of residents, number of retirees, measures of income and poverty, number of immigrants, and housing stock. Generalized boosted models for Poisson outcomes make the predictions.