The Most Over Policed Cities In The US

Kathy Morris
by Kathy Morris
Rankings - 2 months ago

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According to the BLS, the average police officer earns a healthy $65,400 a year.

This steady salary is an above average income that comes with relatively low training requirements and heaping benefits, including the increasingly envy inspiring pension. However, each city and police department has its own pay, requirements, and size.

And the number of police per citizen can vary dramatically by city. Some have a staggering 101 cops per 10,000 citizens, while others only have 1-10th of that number.

We evaluated 353 cities to find the cities with more than their share of cops.

The Most Over Policed Cities

  1. Atlantic City, New Jersey
  2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  3. Washington DC
  4. New York, New York
  5. Miami Beach, Florida
  6. St. Louis, Missouri
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Wilmington, Delaware
  9. Newark, New Jersey
  10. Chicago, Illinois

Large, northeastern cities and tourist hot spots make up the bulk of the top 10. In fact, the furthest west city is St. Louis. Keep reading to see how the scope of police force in each city– and where your city landed.

How We Determined This Data

This one was pretty simple. We used the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data to determine the number of police officers, and police employees, per 10,000 residents for 353 cities.

The more police officers to citizen, the most policed a city was. We excluded all departments with less than 100 officers.

1. Atlantic City, New Jersey

atlantic

Police Officers: 278
Total Employees: 397
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 101.3

Atlantic City is the most policed city in the US, with a staggering 101 police employees for every 10,000 residents. Broken down, that is a little over 1 cop to 100 residents. Why are there so many cops in “America’s Playground”? While we can only speculate, the steady stream of tourists and short term guests might be a partial reason for their ginormous police force.

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

myrtle

Police Officers: 219
Total Employees: 300
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 94.2

Right behind Atlantic City is Myrtle Beach in 2nd place. This beach side city has 94 police officers for every 10,000 residents. Similar to Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach is a vacation favorite. How much of police officers’ time is spent wrangling tourists?

3. Washington DC

washington-dc

Source: Public Domain

Police Officers: 3,753
Total Employees: 4,352
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 63.9

Washington DC is the 3rd most over policed city in the nation. The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia employs 4,352 individuals to police DC. While 63.9 employees per 10,000 residents is significantly less than Myrtle Beach, it is still far greater than most other cities.

4. New York City, New York

new

Police Officers: 36,228
Total Employees: 51,399
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 60

In 4th place is New York City. The Big Apple has a hefty 60 employees for every 10,000 residents. New York City is a fairly safe city with lower than average violent crime. However, they have the largest police force in the nation per resident, 36,228 officers. To put that into perspective, New York City has more police officers than Myrtle Beach has people.

5. Miami Beach, Florida

miami

Police Officers: 394
Total Employees: 492
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 52.8

Miami Beach, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and top notch resorts. However, as you’re enjoying the city, chances are you’ll see more cops than other cities. Miami has 52 police employees per 10,000 residents.

6. St. Louis, Missouri

st.

Source: |Public domain

Police Officers: 1,194
Total Employees: 1,632
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 51.9

In 6th place is St. Louis, Missouri. The Gateway Cities police force has 1,632 employees– which comes out to 51.9 per 10,000 residents.

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

philadelphia,

Police Officers: 6,313
Total Employees: 7,995
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 50.9

Philadelphia has the fourth largest police force with 6,313 police officers. Combine that with the population in Philly, and you have 50.9 officers for every 10,000 Philadelphians.

8. Wilmington, Delaware

wilmington,

Police Officers: 302
Total Employees: 360
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 49.9

Wilmington is the 8th most over policed city in the nation. The Wilmington police force employs 360 people.

9. Newark, New Jersey

newark,

Source: |

Police Officers: 1,113
Total Employees: 1,383
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 49.1

In 9th place, we have Newark, New Jersey. The city of Newark employs 49 people for every 10,000 residents.

10. Chicago, Illinois

chicago,

Police Officers: 11,954
Total Employees: 13,135
Total Employees Per 10k Population: 48.2

Chicago has the 2nd largest police force in the nation with 11,954 officers. When you add in support staff and others, the Windy City employs 13,135 workers. That’s 48 police employs for every 10,000 residents.

Summary On The Most Over Policed Cities

These 10 cities have the largest police forces for their population size.

While many popular vacation towns (Atlantic City, Miami Beach, Myrtle Beach) may be policing a larger population than their permanent residents, not all of the cities see the same staggering influx of tourists compared to population size to explain such large forces.

Nationally, the average is far closer to 21 police officers to every 10,000 residents– but even Chicago in 10th place has double that total.

You can scroll below to see where you city landed, and gauge the staggering difference in the number of police employed per citizen in nationally.

The Most Over Policed Cities, From Most To Least

Rank Police Department Total Employees Per 10K Population
1 Atlantic City, New Jersey 101
2 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 94
3 Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia 63
4 New York, New York 60
5 Miami Beach, Florida 52
6 St. Louis, Missouri 51
7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 50
8 Wilmington, Delaware 49
9 Newark, New Jersey 49
10 Chicago, Illinois 48
11 Jersey City, New Jersey 48
12 Baltimore, Maryland 47
13 Trenton, New Jersey 45
14 Atlanta, Georgia 45
15 Albany, New York 43
16 Cleveland, Ohio 43
17 Cincinnati, Ohio 43
18 Detroit, Michigan 42
19 Rochester, New York 41
20 Farmington, New Mexico 40
21 Santa Monica, California 39
22 Boston, Massachusetts 39
23 Alexandria, Louisiana 39
24 Ocala, Florida 39
25 Pine Bluff, Arkansas 39
26 Charleston, South Carolina 39
27 New Haven, Connecticut 39
28 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 38
29 Sumter, South Carolina 38
30 Biloxi, Mississippi 38
31 Jackson, Tennessee 38
31 Daytona Beach, Florida 38
33 Mount Vernon, New York 37
34 Charleston, West Virginia 37
35 Jackson, Mississippi 37
36 Sarasota, Florida 37
37 Pensacola, Florida 37
38 Niagara Falls, New York 36
39 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 36
40 Hot Springs, Arkansas 36
41 Memphis, Tennessee 36
42 Monroe, Louisiana 36
42 Shreveport, Louisiana 36
44 Dover, Delaware 36
45 North Charleston, South Carolina 35
46 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 35
47 New Orleans, Louisiana 35
48 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35
49 Greenville, South Carolina 35
49 Buffalo, New York 35
51 Hartford, Connecticut 34
52 Miami, Florida 34
53 White Plains, New York 34
54 Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan, Georgia 34
55 Kalamazoo, Michigan 33
55 Springfield, Massachusetts 33
57 West Palm Beach, Florida 33
58 Dothan, Alabama 33
59 Syracuse, New York 33
60 Jacksonville, Florida 33
61 Charlottesville, Virginia 33
61 Lakeland, Florida 33
63 San Francisco, California 33
64 Norfolk, Virginia 33
65 Orlando, Florida 32
66 Portsmouth, Virginia 32
67 Grand Junction, Colorado 32
68 Florence, Alabama 32
69 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 32
70 Portland, Maine 32
70 Tampa, Florida 32
72 Little Rock, Arkansas 32
73 North Little Rock, Arkansas 31
74 Danville, Virginia 31
74 Binghamton, New York 31
74 Los Angeles, California 31
77 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 31
77 Delray Beach, Florida 31
79 Columbia, South Carolina 31
79 Huntsville, Alabama 31
81 New Brunswick, New Jersey 31
82 Broomfield, Colorado 31
83 Fort Myers, Florida 31
84 Kissimmee, Florida 30
84 Clearwater, Florida 30
86 Montgomery, Alabama 30
87 Burlington, North Carolina 30
87 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, Nevada 30
89 Baytown, Texas 30
89 Hammond, Indiana 30
91 East Hartford, Connecticut 30
91 Boca Raton, Florida 30
93 Newport News, Virginia 30
94 Evanston, Illinois 30
95 Utica, New York 29
96 Marietta, Georgia 29
96 Chattanooga, Tennessee 29
98 Roanoke, Virginia 29
98 Bridgeport, Connecticut 29
98 St. Petersburg, Florida 29
101 Barnstable, Massachusetts 29
102 Hampton, Virginia 29
102 Cambridge, Massachusetts 29
102 Dallas, Texas 29
105 Kingsport, Tennessee 28
106 McAllen, Texas 28
107 Gulfport, Mississippi 28
107 Providence, Rhode Island 28
109 Houston, Texas 28
110 Hagerstown, Maryland 28
110 Joplin, Missouri 28
110 Valdosta, Georgia 28
113 Troy, New York 27
113 South Bend, Indiana 27
113 Salt Lake City, Utah 27
116 Seattle, Washington 27
117 Tempe, Arizona 27
118 Gainesville, Florida 27
119 York, Pennsylvania 27
120 Yuma, Arizona 27
121 Wichita Falls, Texas 27
122 Lakewood, Colorado 27
123 Warwick, Rhode Island 26
123 Beaumont, Texas 26
125 Port Arthur, Texas 26
125 Decatur, Alabama 26
125 Waltham, Massachusetts 26
125 Rock Hill, South Carolina 26
129 Johnson City, Tennessee 26
129 Nashua, New Hampshire 26
131 Frederick, Maryland 26
132 Schenectady, New York 26
132 Topeka, Kansas 26
132 Alexandria, Virginia 26
132 Scottsdale, Arizona 26
132 Worcester, Massachusetts 26
137 Middletown, Connecticut 26
137 St. Paul, Minnesota 26
139 Bradenton, Florida 26
139 Newport Beach, California 26
139 Melbourne, Florida 26
139 Manchester, New Hampshire 26
143 Decatur, Illinois 26
143 Dearborn, Michigan 26
145 Harlingen, Texas 25
145 Vineland, New Jersey 25
147 Milford, Connecticut 25
147 Denver, Colorado 25
149 Mesa, Arizona 25
149 Nashville Metropolitan, Tennessee 25
149 Honolulu, Hawaii 25
152 Evansville, Indiana 25
153 West Allis, Wisconsin 25
154 Santa Fe, New Mexico 25
155 Conway, Arkansas 25
156 Albany, Georgia 25
156 Waco, Texas 25
158 Lancaster, Pennsylvania 24
158 Pasadena, California 24
158 Knoxville, Tennessee 24
161 Springfield, Missouri 24
162 Salem, Massachusetts 24
162 Lynchburg, Virginia 24
162 Austin, Texas 24
165 Killeen, Texas 24
165 Oakland, California 24
165 Long Beach, California 24
168 Akron, Ohio 24
169 Lawton, Oklahoma 24
169 Norwalk, Connecticut 24
169 Lafayette, Louisiana 24
169 Minneapolis, Minnesota 24
173 Lakewood, Ohio 24
173 Temple, Texas 24
173 Jonesboro, Arkansas 24
173 Greenville, North Carolina 24
173 Lake Charles, Louisiana 24
173 Stamford, Connecticut 24
179 Huntington, West Virginia 23
180 Athens-Clarke County, Georgia 23
180 Fort Worth, Texas 23
182 Everett, Massachusetts 23
183 Bowling Green, Kentucky 23
183 Phoenix, Arizona 23
185 Manchester, Connecticut 23
186 West Hartford, Connecticut 23
187 Springfield, Illinois 23
187 Madison, Wisconsin 23
189 Mission, Texas 22
190 Conroe, Texas 22
190 Clarksville, Tennessee 22
190 Tallahassee, Florida 22
193 Tyler, Texas 22
193 Pueblo, Colorado 22
195 Edinburg, Texas 22
195 Longview, Texas 22
195 Tulsa, Oklahoma 22
198 Largo, Florida 22
199 Pasadena, Texas 22
199 Glendale, Arizona 22
201 Springfield, Ohio 22
201 Santa Barbara, California 22
203 Jupiter, Florida 22
203 St. Joseph, Missouri 22
203 Framingham, Massachusetts 22
203 Burbank, California 22
203 Aurora, Colorado 22
208 Scranton, Pennsylvania 22
209 St. Charles, Missouri 21
209 Newton, Massachusetts 21
209 Richardson, Texas 21
209 Rockford, Illinois 21
209 Tucson, Arizona 21
214 Elgin, Illinois 21
215 Green Bay, Wisconsin 21
216 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 21
217 Jacksonville, North Carolina 21
217 Bryan, Texas 21
217 Berkeley, California 21
220 Fort Smith, Arkansas 21
220 Duluth, Minnesota 21
220 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 21
223 Flagstaff, Arizona 21
223 Laredo, Texas 21
225 Virginia Beach, Virginia 21
226 Waukesha, Wisconsin 20
226 Omaha, Nebraska 20
226 Indianapolis, Indiana 20
229 Victoria, Texas 20
229 Cheektowaga Town, New York 20
229 Reading, Pennsylvania 20
229 Everett, Washington 20
229 Torrance, California 20
234 Council Bluffs, Iowa 20
234 Murfreesboro, Tennessee 20
236 Battle Creek, Michigan 20
236 Bloomington, Illinois 20
236 Roswell, Georgia 20
236 Amarillo, Texas 20
240 Southfield, Michigan 20
241 Wichita, Kansas 20
242 Stratford, Connecticut 20
242 Bellingham, Washington 20
242 Henderson, Nevada 20
245 Irving, Texas 20
246 Allentown, Pennsylvania 19
246 Colorado Springs, Colorado 19
248 Bismarck, North Dakota 19
248 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 19
250 Livonia, Michigan 19
251 Warner Robins, Georgia 19
251 St. Cloud, Minnesota 19
251 Eugene, Oregon 19
254 Palm Bay, Florida 19
255 New Braunfels, Texas 19
255 Waterloo, Iowa 19
255 Yakima, Washington 19
255 Sugar Land, Texas 19
259 Erie, Pennsylvania 19
259 Sacramento, California 19
259 Fresno, California 19
262 Cheyenne, Wyoming 19
262 Rapid City, South Dakota 19
262 Hayward, California 19
265 Greeley, Colorado 19
265 Brownsville, Texas 19
265 Corpus Christi, Texas 19
268 Round Rock, Texas 19
269 San Angelo, Texas 18
270 San Antonio, Texas 18
271 Salem, Oregon 18
271 Spokane, Washington 18
273 Franklin, Tennessee 18
274 Lansing, Michigan 18
275 Appleton, Wisconsin 18
276 Dubuque, Iowa 18
276 Medford, Massachusetts 18
276 Chino, California 18
276 Fairfield, Connecticut 18
280 Auburn, Alabama 18
280 Ogden, Utah 18
282 Missoula, Montana 18
282 Sioux City, Iowa 18
284 Sunnyvale, California 18
284 El Paso, Texas 18
286 Arlington Heights, Illinois 17
286 Odessa, Texas 17
286 Portland, Oregon 17
289 Troy, Michigan 17
289 Plano, Texas 17
289 San Diego, California 17
292 Hillsboro, Oregon 17
292 Danbury, Connecticut 17
292 Fort Collins, Colorado 17
292 Tacoma, Washington 17
296 Beaverton, Oregon 17
297 Davenport, Iowa 17
297 Midland, Texas 17
297 Warren, Michigan 17
300 Medford, Oregon 17
300 Bloomington, Minnesota 17
300 Rochester, Minnesota 17
300 Cape Coral, Florida 17
300 Grand Rapids, Michigan 17
305 College Station, Texas 16
306 Farmington Hills, Michigan 16
306 Santa Clara, California 16
308 San Bernardino, California 16
308 Anchorage, Alaska 16
310 Deerfield Beach, Florida 16
310 Boise, Idaho 16
312 Auburn, Washington 16
313 Champaign, Illinois 16
313 Denton, Texas 16
313 Glendale, California 16
316 Oxnard, California 16
317 Anaheim, California 15
318 Billings, Montana 15
318 Port St. Lucie, Florida 15
318 Sioux Falls, South Dakota 15
321 Peoria, Arizona 15
322 Santa Maria, California 15
323 Santa Ana, California 15
324 Riverside, California 15
325 Lakewood Township, New Jersey 15
325 Reno, Nevada 15
327 Visalia, California 15
328 Costa Mesa, California 15
328 Fargo, North Dakota 15
328 Bellevue, Washington 15
331 Ventura, California 15
331 Orange, California 15
331 Columbia, Missouri 15
334 Fairfield, California 14
335 Kent, Washington 14
336 Renton, Washington 14
337 Santa Rosa, California 14
338 Modesto, California 14
339 Bakersfield, California 14
340 Roseville, California 13
341 Corona, California 13
342 Sandy Springs, Georgia 13
342 Vancouver, Washington 13
344 Carlsbad, California 13
344 San Jose, California 13
346 Provo, Utah 12
347 Ann Arbor, Michigan 12
348 Vallejo, California 12
349 Flint, Michigan 12
349 Salinas, California 12
351 Irvine, California 11
352 Spokane Valley, Washington 10
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