Fort Lauderdale Among Top 20 Cities in Investments in Public Safety

Feel free to keep your doors unlocked from now on, Fort Lauderdale! (*Just kidding; don't do that.)

Because of 239 cities with a population greater than 100,000, Fort Lauderdale ranks as the 19th city that invest the most resources in public safety.

This, according to, which crunches numbers on banking and finance.

Specifically, NerdWallet wanted to see how U.S. cities survived the great recession of 2008 and were able to keep their police and fire departments intact.

See also: Fort Lauderdale Named Seventh "Most Exciting" Midsized City

Times have been tough all over the country. Yet despite the recession, Fort Lauderdale still manages to invest heavily in public safety, according to the study.

"We were curious to which cities survived the recession the best," Christopher Rein from Nerd Wallet tells New Times. "We looked at police staff through the FBI's universal crime fighting tool, as well as fire department data."

The study set out to see what level of investment each city makes toward providing comprehensive policing services by using the respective city's total police staff per 10,000 residents as a proxy for police resources.

Nerd Wallet also wanted to see what level of investment cities make toward providing comprehensive fire and emergency medical services using total fire department staff per 10,000 residents as a proxy for fire and EMS resources.

"We also accounted for civilian staff, such as dispatchers and the like, for both police and fire departments," Rein says.

Specifically, Fort Lauderdale makes one of the largest investments in police and fire personnel in the nation.

The city has 39.1 police staff and 24.12 fire staff per 10,000 residents, according to Nerd Wallet. Both of these figures are more than double those seen in cities like San Jose, California, that experienced major public safety cuts.

From Nerd Wallet:

The overall score for public safety investment was calculated from the following:

Number of police officers, civilian police staff and population figures are from FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics. We divided the total personnel by the population and multiplied by 10,000 to determine the police staff per 10,000 residents. This constituted 50% of the total score.

The number of firefighters and civilian fire staff are from the U.S. Fire Administration's national fire department census. We divided the total fire personnel by the population and multiplied by 10,000 to determine the fire staff per 10,000 residents. This constituted 50% of the total score.

While having a higher ratio of police and fire department staffers doesn't necessarily guarantee a safer city, there has been an overall downward trend in crime in Fort Lauderdale, based on data from 12 years, with both violent and property crime decreasing, according to

The crime rate in Fort Lauderdale for 2014 is expected to be lower than in 2010, according to this trend.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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