Cutbacks, downturn, and budget woes. Since 2008, they're now commonplace terms that can seemingly be applied to every sector of the American economy, and according to Chief Ronnie Bastin of the Lexington Police Department. Those terms are playing a role in how many officers you see on the street.
In a written statement Chief Bastin says, "Tough economic times have created an environment where even tougher choices have had to be made. In addition to budget cuts we have realized savings through: minimal hiring of new officers, retaining vacancies and not filling open positions created by attrition."
A spokesperson for Lexington Police says ideally, it would have about 600 officers, currently there are 524.
A recent study from the FBI shows the population of each city as compared to the number of police officers in the city. There are 300,062 people in Lexington for example, meaning one officer for every 572 people. Georgetown's ratio is one officer for every 477 people, Richmond is 1 to 568 and in Berea it's 1 to 504.
Putting it in perspective, both Chicago and New York City have a ratio of one officer to roughly 235 people.
"We never think we have enough (officers)," says Captain Ken Clark with the Berea Police Department.
Clark says it's always been a priority to keep numbers up at the department. That's why it's increased two positions over the past five years.
"We in administration think it'd be nice to get a couple more," says Clark.
One thing departments in various cities agree on; a new economy means prioritizing the use of a police officer more than ever.
If you would like to see your city's ratio of police officers to citizens visit FBI.gov or go to the link below.