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San Diego region residents are getting less bang for their buck, literally. Spending on public safety efforts has climbed 16 percent over the last five years to a $1.76 billion budget for fiscal year 2006-2007, according to a bulletin from the San Diego Association of Governments, or Sandag.

Staffing levels, however, have failed to keep pace. Though the region’s population increased by 5 percent over the last five years, overall public safety staffing decreased less than one percent, according to the bulletin.

Darlanne Mulmat, an associate research analyst for Sandag, said the departments haven’t been able to fill vacancies, resulting in them spending more per person for the people there.

— NINA PETERSEN-PERLMAN

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