Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How many police officers are there?

Not sure if the table below will work.   But I really wondered how many cops there were if you added up all the local forces nearby. The issue is just what potential support there is the G20 event.  The answer I get is that as of 2007 there were 2,505 total full time officers in Allegheny County local governments, and another 498 part-time police officers. That includes the City of Pittsburgh's force of around 850 full time officers.  I suspect those numbers would have come down a bit in the last 2 years, but that's it for a ballpart number.  So even the maximum potential pool of supplemental law enforcement to back up the city police force from elsewhere in the county does not really come close. Even if every single law police officer in the county supported G20, which would leave nobody minding the store back home anywhere, you don't get near the 4,000 goal. Nearby counties have other forces as well, but I doubt the numbers are going to really change the answer too much. 

But if as it seems, even the larger and better off forces don't have much to contribute, the smaller ones are even less able to provide from their minimal ranks.  Below is the list of the largest police forces in the county, ranked by total officers counting full time and part time equally.  It's pretty remarkable in how few forces have more than a handful of officers.  The full list I have put online here.

GovernmentFull TimePart TimeTotal
Allegheny County3540354
Penn Hills47047
Mount Lebanon42042
Bethel Pak38038
Source: 2007 Census of Governments


Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

And from there you start thinking about banks getting knocked over elsewhere because "all the cops are at the G-20".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Five-O said...

A lot of those part-time cops work for more than one municipality - they end up full-time, just two different employers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

No doubt there is double counting among some (many?) of the part time officers who work for multiple municipalities. All to save on benefits I imagine, but they lose out on pension payments and subsidies as well I bet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed you didn't have the numbers for the Northern Regional Police- the only example of a multi-municipality regional police department in the entire Pittsburgh region as far as I am aware. It would be nice if more communities got together like this instead of contracting to neighboring communities or relying on the State Police when their officers are not on duty (usually overnight and on weekends).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is such a shame that some officers have to work for several different communities on a part time basis to add up to a full time schedule. I'm sure Western PA probably loses lots potential officers to large county-based police departments in other areas (Northern VA for example) where they can work full time and probably get a much higher starting salary. PA seems to train a lot of professionals who end up working elsewhere (teachers, police, doctors, etc.) due to lack of available work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

If they give me a Taser, I'm willing to try something new for a few days.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to be anonymous for obvious reasons, but I'm from an eastern PA county that's sending a bunch of cops to the G-20. It ain't just the Pittsburgh region that's gonna handle it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

No doubt. I think my point is that virtually all of the extra help will have to be from outside the region since there isn't much space capactity here and probably was never a good plan to expect significant numbers from local forces.

Note the story today saying that there will be 1,000 state police coming because the article says "other police departments, have been slow to respond to a call from Chief Harper for assistance"

That same story says Philadelphia isn't planning on sending anyone which surprises me some:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Troop B said...

State Police?! Then who's going to patrol Clairton?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen out of state officers checking into major hotels in real numbers. I'm guessing they come in for orientation and some training to work as coordinated units.

And you forgot to include university police. I know that at least the Pitt force gets the same acadamy training that either the city or the state police get. I'm not sure which it is, but one of them.

Friday, August 28, 2009 3:58:00 PM  

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