Why Does LA Spend Twice as Much on Policing as San Diego?

How much scope is there for cutting spending on police? Just to give you an idea, here’s the variation in spending among big California cities:

In Los Angeles, residents pay an average of $750 per year for police protection. In Fresno, which has about the same violent crime rate, they pay only $450 each. In San Diego, with a modestly lower violent crime rate, they pay about $300 each.

That’s a huge range, and obviously there’s more to the picture than just the crime rate. Nonetheless, it does give at least a hint that there’s considerable scope for reductions in some of our highest spending cities.

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