The question was asked; Why does Pine Lake have a police force?
And one persons answer is.........
The net cost to us is roughly $130,000. The city takes in about
$175,000 in traffic fines annually — a figure that has been declining by
double-digits for the last few years, even accounting for the dramatic
pullback in fines in 2001. Our court administration costs about $100,000
a year, leaving $75,000 to offset the cost of policing.
The net present value of a $130,000 annual expenditure is roughly
$2.6 million at current interest rates. That implies that eliminating
police would reduce taxes sufficiently to increase aggregate property
values in the city by $2.6 million.
Only, it wouldn’t. Comparable properties near Pine Lake are valued an
average of about $35,000 less. Some of that can be attributed to the
special nature of the city — a close-knit hippie community surrounded by
the highest ratio of public parkland to overall acreage in Georgia.
Some of it might be due to local planning and zoning control. But I
suggest half of that can be attributed to having a police officer no
more than 90 seconds from your door in an emergency. Pine Lake’s crime
rate is puny, even though we’re in the middle of DeKalb County.
That $35,000 average increase in value translates into a tax digest about $6 million higher than the comparable par.
There are other reasons, too. For example, about 25-30 percent of
Pine Lake’s households are gay, lesbian or bisexual. There’s added value
in having a police department that can be expected to manage LGBT
public safety issues with sensitivity. Also, the county’s response to
property crime and code enforcement in unincorporated commercial areas
near us has been … unsatisfactory … or so business owners tell us.
Basically, the county cops don’t respond without significant
provocation. We think the police may serve as an economic development
tool as a result, if used correctly to protect property owners instead
of as a ticket-issuing machine.
Copied from The Peach Pundit