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Continuing the trend identified in 2010 when police and fire departments, like other local government departments, saw their budgets reduced, police and fire expenditures in 2013 continue to be a concern in some communities. There is hope that as the housing market continues to strengthen, property tax revenues may slowly increase. In August 2013, the national median price rose 11.7% from a year ago.
The statistics in this annual article from The Municipal Year Book 2014 are not intended to be used for benchmarking, which requires that many factors be considered to identify localities of similar characteristics, such as population density, vulnerability to natural disasters, and the like. Rather, these statistics are meant to provide a general picture of police and fire personnel and expenditures for each year.
This e-document has examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns found in the responses to ICMA’s annual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures survey. Most of the changes over time in police and fire employment and expenditures have been small, incremental shifts. It is not uncommon for one year to show increases and the next to show decreases in average expenditures.
Selected findings from the report:
- The average entrance salaries are $45,664 for police and $40,887 for fire personnel. The average maximum salaries for police and fire personnel are $64,897 and $57,091, respectively.
- The average maximum salary including longevity pay for police officers is $72,084; for fire personnel, it is $65,074. These salaries vary significantly by geographic division: For police and fire, East South-Central cities show the lowest average maximums. For police, the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Coast cities show the highest. For fire, the Pacific Coast cities show the highest.
- Average overtime expenditures are $517,520 for police and $527,235 for fire departments.
- The average per capita total departmental expenditures are $224.22 for police and $136.04 for fire departments.