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Continuing the trend identified in 2010 when police and fire departments, like other local government departments, saw their budgets reduced, police and fire expenditures in 2012 continue to be a concern in some communities. There is hope that as the housing market continues to strengthen, property tax revenues may slowly increase. The national median existing home price for all housing types was $183,900 in September, up 11.3% from a year ago. This increase in revenue for municipal budgets may eventually bring a halt to staffing reductions, whether such reductions are due to a lack of hiring for vacant positions or to layoffs.
The statistics in this annual article from The Municipal Year Book 2013 are not intended to be used for benchmarking, which requires that many factors be considered to identify localities of similar characteristics, such as population density, vulnerability to natural disasters, and the like. Rather, these statistics are meant to provide a general picture of police and fire personnel and expenditures for each year.
This e-document has examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns found in the responses to ICMA’s annual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures survey. Most of the changes over time in police and fire employment and expenditures have been small, incremental shifts. It is not uncommon for one year to show increases and the next to show decreases in average expenditures.
Selected findings from the report:
The average entrance salaries are $44,996 for police and $40,689 for fire personnel. The average maximum salaries for police and fire personnel are $64,018 and $56,404, respectively.
The average maximum salary including longevity pay for police officers is $69,696; for fire personnel, it is $61,306.
These salaries vary significantly by geographic division: East South-Central cities show the lowest average maximums while Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Coast cities show the highest.
Per capita average overtime expenditures were $10.48 for police and $8.22 for fire departments.
The average per capita total departmental expenditures in 2012 were $251.71 for police and $156.43 for fire departments.