The officer must wave back, preferably while patrolling the neighborhood twice a day. That's what Sharon Township, Oh., residents expect for the $1 million they pay to have a police department. “People might joke about it being more like Mayberry out here than a big city,” said Benjamin Knepper. “That's desirable. That's what we want.” That kind of service comes at a cost, says the Columbus Dispatch. The township spends $584 per resident on its policing.
The newspaper looked at the 2013 expenditures at 53 local police departments and found that agencies spend an average of $251 per resident in a year and provide an average of five officers, including unpaid and auxiliary officers, per 1,000 residents. The survey found that spending varies widely among the region's smaller departments. The tiny village of Brice, which has fallen under criticism for its ticketing practices, spends the most of any agency by far: $1,227 for each of its nearly 120 residents. By comparison, the Pickaway County village of Commercial Point spends about $69 per resident, making it the lowest-cost department in the survey.