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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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