Hidden in Plain Sight: What Cost-of-Crime Research Can Tell Us About Investing in Police
Mar 5, 2010
New Calculator Brings Crime Costs — and the Value of Police — Out of the Shadows
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Crime inflicts a substantial toll on individuals, businesses, and communities. Understanding the total cost of crime — which includes costs related to lost quality of life, general fear, and other intangibles, in addition to the more obvious costs related to lost property, incarceration, and the like — can help cities decide how best to invest their crime-control dollars. RAND's Cost of Crime Calculator lets city leaders and residents calculate the total cost of crime in their communities and assess the potential value of hiring additional police officers. The calculator can be found at http://cqp.rand.org/cost-of-crime.
|cost per crime||number of incidents|
|Motor vehicle theft||$9,533||737,142|
This calculation considers only the seven serious crimes classiﬁed by the FBI as “Part I” crimes and excludes the costs of unreported incidents. Thus, the total cost of crime in 2010 was probably much higher.
In some cities, hiring one additional officer could save the community hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, even after the total annual cost of employment is factored in.
|City||Cost per capita||Value of an Officer|
|New York, NY||$1,150||$178,239|
|Los Angeles, CA||$1,308||$338,980|
|Las Vegas, NV||$1,719||$514,087|
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