According to a report in the Journal of Urban Economics, disbanding city police departments and shifting law enforcement responsibilities to county governments may not have any effect on the overall crime rate.
The research was conducted by a team of experts at the University of Rice.
“This paper finds that disbanding police departments leads to fewer police-related deaths, fewer reported crimes, and lower law enforcement expenditures,” the report states.
“However, the number of crimes reported by the sheriff for the entire county increases by an amount commensurate to the decrease in the number of crimes reported by cities that disbanded their police department.”
The report continues by stating, “Furthermore, disbanding police departments is associated with an increase in county sheriffs spending which offsets the city savings. Thus, disbanding police departments does not appear to impact overall crime, shifts responsibility for law enforcement onto other governments, and reduces the available information about cities’ crimes.”
Overall, the findings indicated a drop of 18 major crimes per 100,000 people in the context of reporting their crime statistics to the Bureau from localities that disbanded their police departments, posing a problem.
“Outsourcing city police services to county governments decreases municipal spending on policing by $70 a year per capita on average,” the report also determined.
The report was authored by Richard T. Boylan.