In the wake of budget cuts and police layoffs, Florida is feeling the effects. Fewer officers on the street means longer response times.
Cities like Jacksonville & Miami are in a pinch. Over the past few years the city of Jacksonville has seen its budget cut by $18 million. Similar in Miami, the city has seen its budget cut by $25 million since 2009. In response, Jacksonville PD has had to trim their police force to approximately 1,600 officers. They are responsible for patrolling a 900 square mile area with over 800,000 people. A tall task indeed.
This trend has not only been seen in Florida, but nationwide. In Chicago, the homicide rate was up nearly 50% in January. The Chicago Tribune reports, “Homicides in Chicago have risen sharply so far in January compared with a year earlier, continuing a trend that began over the last few months of 2011”.
Katy Alberti, Security Equipment Corporation’s (manufacturer of SABRE personal safety sprays, aka pepper spray) Personal Safety Academy Program Manager said, “Knowing police departments are spread thin across the nation, everyone needs to have a plan! We must take responsibility for our personal safety. Response times to an attack, assault or attempted kidnapping are far too long. The onus is on us to be smarter and safer. Our safety starts with each of us”.
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