This article from Governing, with a good table showing important related statistics, reveals the amount of officers per 10,000 residents to be at about 17 officers per; while Sacramento has 13.2.
For every 10,000 District of Columbia residents, there are about 61 Metropolitan Police Department officers. A similar number of officers serve nearby Baltimore given the city’s size. But in many other larger jurisdictions, police departments employ fewer than half as many officers per capita.
Police presence varies greatly across U.S. cities, driven by call volumes, municipal budgets and a range of other factors.
A review of the latest police employment data reported to the FBI in 2012 shows police agencies serving jurisdictions with populations exceeding 50,000 employed an average of 17 officers per 10,000 residents. Totals for each city are listed in the table below.
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department reports that it employs 3,982 sworn officers and another 430 full-time civilians to police the city of about 630,000. After the District, cities with the highest per capita rates in 2012 were Baltimore (47 per 10,000 residents), Chicago (44 per 10,000 residents) and Wilmington, Del. (43 per 10,000 residents).
Many cities near the top of the list in terms of police presence tend to be areas with higher crime rates.
“It’s a lot easier for a chief to go to a budget meeting and ask for more officers if there’s a huge crime problem,” said Meg Hollis, a Michigan State University assistant professor who researches police staffing.
In general, suburban jurisdictions and mid-size cities employ fewer officers per capita. If they border a major city, though, staffing levels might be a bit higher, Hollis said.