The conclusion seems obvious, but it has a twist. UC Berkeley researchers released a study Thursday that concludes that a high per capita ratio of police cuts down on violent crime, and saves money.
"Our estimates imply that each dollar spent on police is associated with approximately $1.60 in reduced victimization costs, suggesting that U.S. cities employ too few police," the study's authors wrote.
And then, strictly from a cost perspective, there are cities that also might employ too many cops, especially factoring in the particularly high price per police officer in California, the authors found.
The study said that based on crime rates, income levels, the cost of crime, and policing levels, some of the most "over-policed" cities in the country are in southern California: Torrance (3), Santa Monica (7), Burbank (10), Glendale (28), and Fullerton (29).
Among the 30 most "under-policed" U.S. cities, the study said three are in California: Oakland (7), Richmond (16), and San Bernardino (19).