Since 2011, more police in suburbs — and fewer in cities

“There’s no doubt that police departments around this state are lowering their ranks. There is a personnel problem, and they are down officers,” said Rep. Greg Howard of Stonington, ranking Republican on the Public Safety and Security Committee.

That’s the case in 26 Connecticut towns, but for another 62 municipal police departments, the number of officers increased from April 2011 to October 2023, according to data compiled by the state’s Office of Legislative Research. Every other town is all or partly covered by the State Police, which has 931 uniformed personnel as of February of this year, down from 1,200 over a decade ago.

Some of the state’s largest cities, including Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford, saw their police forces shrink. Bridgeport had the largest drop, from 406 officers in 2011 to 289 in 2023, a 29% decrease.

Full story: Since 2011, more police in suburbs — and fewer in cities

5 Replies to “Since 2011, more police in suburbs — and fewer in cities”

  1. What are the reasons behind such a strange phenonomen?Research should be done to determine the reasoning behind this and see to it that the distribution of officers is more balanced or the incentive is increased. With cities being more populated it should be a no brainer that police presence should also be high but this article about PDs in Connecticut shows the state is different. This may be due to the fact that some officers want to protect where they grew up in but it may also implicate that the incentive for being a police officer in the city isn’t as good. These factors could be from rent being to high or perhaps the police benefits aren’t as good. Taking a look at Charlotte PD’s benefits they offer 20-30 days of paid leave and many 5% pay increases for skills like language or prior service with a beginning salary of just under 60k and max of a little over 111k still however recruitment is down according to an article from the Charlotte Observer. However, perhaps people do not want to be cops in the city because of the stigma of being an officer and being a local town cop has a lot less negative views from the public.

    1. I agree with the points that you draw attention to and love the connection to a department close to us. It goes to show that this could be a nationwide issue which touches on one of my questions moving forward from this reading. Do you think that there are disparities between pay in larger cities and cost of living? Could this play a role in why this is occurring? You spoke about rent and that was the first thing my mind ran to. People may be willing to serve in a larger city but if they aren’t paid enough to live there, what are they to do? What are other facets that could play a role in this as well?

  2. This article definitely presents a huge question as to why this is happening? It also makes me wonder if this is the case in other areas as well. Do demographics play a role or is it more focused on the benefits side? What is driving this disparity in staffing? At first glance I believed it to be because of crime rates and public attitude. There is typically more crime in higher populated cities and there is oftentimes a stronger attitude towards police in those areas as well, good or bad. Further research is definitely needed to determine the driving factors behind this occurrence and to help discover what can be done to change it.

  3. Seeing an increase in police placed in suburbs rather than cities can be problematic for citizens’ safety. Criminal activity has greater statistics in the city worldwide. Lack of protection in cities plays a role in the stereotype that the citizens give the role of the police and to what demographic they tend to protect the most. Another thing that this affects is the communication and engagement between law enforcement and the community which is vital in making the jobs of law enforcement easier and creating a safer environment for all that live in the area. Once a state enforces these changes there may be a domino effect within the rest of the country and will cause more chaos between law enforcement and citizens.

    1. There are serious problems for public safety with the current tendency of police presence being increased in suburbs rather than in cities. Globally, criminal activity tends to be higher in urban areas; therefore, if resources are diverted from these places, city dwellers may feel forgotten and defenseless. This reallocation erodes confidence between police and vulnerable communities by reinforcing assumptions about which groups of people get prioritized protection from the police. Reduced police presence in urban areas also makes it more difficult to interact and communicate with locals, which is crucial for efficient policing and the prevention of crime. But, what is the best way to create a fostering relationship? To obtain information and put plans into action that will guarantee public safety, police enforcement and communities must have mutual trust and cooperation.

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