San Diego has fewer police officers per capita than most of the nation’s major cities and half of California’s largest cities.

I noted that in this recent story, looking at the mayor’s promises to lay off police officers if voters don’t approve a sales tax increase this November as the city faces a more than $70 million budget deficit next year. Following that story, a few readers asked me to post the data.

The first table shows how San Diego compares among the 15 largest cities in the nation. I’ve added data for the number of sworn officers in each city and its violent crime rate from 2008, the most recent information posted online by the FBI.

The next table below shows how the size of San Diego police force compares with the 15 largest California cities as of July. The data behind the graphic can be found here. It doesn’t include the crime rate for each city since that information hasn’t been compiled by state law enforcement officials yet.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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