How Many Officers Are Really Patroling The Streets?

By Corinne Rose

July 16, 2013 Updated Jul 16, 2013 at 6:29 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tc) -- Crime is a problem in every city. Finding ways to combat it with limited resources is another.

We crunched the numbers to see just how few officers are patrolling the streets of Fort Wayne to help keep you safe.

The Indianapolis Police Department recently announced it would put 150 more officers on the streets in the next three years to help curb the crime there.

In Fort Wayne, it's been announced that 20 new officers will be joining the department late next year after necessary training. But is that enough?

According the Fort Wayne police officers' union, the city has 430 officers. 88 of them are command staff.

And once you take out groups that don't drive the streets on patrol, like vice and narcotics, the detective bureau, undercover officers and the gang unit, that leaves 209 unranked officers in squad cars.

That means there's an average of roughly 11 patrol officers to cover each quadrant of the city every shift.

With a population of more than 255,000 residents, that breaks down to one officer for every 1900-plus residents each day.

“It's just one of those balancing acts that we try to do. And for now, luckily, we've done it without anyone being seriously injured. But I don't know how long we can continue to do that,” says

“That's a lot to ask anyone. And as the numbers increase for shootings, the primary functions, then, get lessened because you have perimeter patrols, you have to secure scenes. And these take officers away from, then, the calls that are coming in, to respond to other things going on in the city,” Rosales-Scatena says.

Chief York says he feels "very comfortable" with this staffing level, which he says has been maintained for years.

York says he and his staff analyze calls for service and officer safety issues, and that 450 officers is the optimum number for this city.

He says this new academy class will help ensure Fort Wayne has those 450 officers.

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