County Executive Laura Neuman announced today that she will request approval for an additional 20 police officers in her FY 2015 budget to be presented before the Anne Arundel County Council on Thursday, May 1, in the County Council Chambers in Annapolis.
“I asked Chief Kevin Davis to prepare an in-depth analysis of staffing in our police department and he presented me with comprehensive data, showing where the Anne Arundel County Police Department stands in comparison to similar agencies in the Baltimore/Washington area. It was immediately clear that our Police Department is in need of additional staffing,” said County Executive Neuman. “The addition of 20 officers this year will reduce the need to staff the department on overtime, a long-used practice to cover essential staffing requirements.”
In 2013, Anne Arundel County Police handled 717 calls per officer. Of the largest jurisdictions in Maryland, the next closest is Prince George’s County Police Department, which handles 486 calls per officer. Additionally, the Anne Arundel County agency averages just 1.23 officers per 1,000 residents, placing it among the lowest per-capita ratios within the state’s largest jurisdictions.
In Anne Arundel County, police officers responded to nearly 500,000 calls for service in 2013. Of those, approximately 16,000 were for crimes. The additional 484,000 calls for service involved officers responding to and solving community problems.
The added officers included in the County Executive’s proposed budget will support a growing population in Anne Arundel County, which currently consists of over 550,000 residents, not accounting for the influx of citizens who work in Anne Arundel County as well as the frequent military, government and entertainment visits daily. Although Anne Arundel County enjoys a relatively low crime rate, all of the citizens who have made this their home and that patronize the County deserve an additional public safety presence.
“The addition of these 20 new positions is the beginning of an effort to increase the public safety presence in Anne Arundel County,” said County Executive Neuman. “Public safety is our top priority in the county, and I remain committed to taking the necessary steps to providing the highest level of service to our citizens.”