Worcester’s public safety $$ per capita

UPDATE(10:52pm)-While rechecking the Columbus report tonight, we noticed an error in their math; that error has been confirmed by The Boston Globe.  The number has been adjusted in the text below.

The City of Boston is under a bit of heat after a study by the City of Columbus showed Boston spent the most per capita of any large city in the country on fire services. According to the report, Boston pays over $452 $285 per resident for fire(2nd most among surveyed cities), and about $447 for police(5th).

So where would Worcester fit in?

According to an analysis of the FY2009 budget(FY2010 will have its initial release tomorrow night), Worcester spent an estimated $198 per resident on fire services and $236 on police services. (The fire expenditure doesn’t count EMS services, which are counted in Boston’s numbers). Worcester spends an additional $16.87 per resident for communications/dispatching services.

The fire expenditure ranks Worcester ahead of larger cities such as Nashville-Davidson, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Dallas, Milwaukee, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, Fort Worth, San Jose, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and El Paso and behind Boston, San Francisco, Columbus, Seattle, Baltimore, Memphis, Austin and Detroit.

Police spending per capita in Worcester is less than all major cities surveyed by Columbus, save for Fort Worth and San Antonio.

More over, As of April 2008, Worcester had 404 uniformed firefighters: 2.29 for every 1,000 residents and 10.46 per square mile. In comparison, Boston led the surveyed cities with 3.39 firefighters per 1,000 residents and 42.96 per square mile. Columbus had 2.073 firefighters per 1,000 and 6.828 per square mile.


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