Is the HMB police budget out of line?
Darin Boville has posted an interesting analysis of the Half Moon Bay Police Department budget on his new blog MontaraFog.
Darin shows that the city’s police budget on a per-capita and percentage of expenditures basis is in the top 25% of San Mateo County cities. That’s surprising when you consider that nearly every city in the county is more urbanized, and Half Moon Bay is being beaten out by places like Daly City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco.
Comparisons are always tricky. After all, smaller cities have to spread the same overhead over fewer taxpayers and smaller budgets. But it’s worth considering that Pacifica, which is more blue-collar (and generally scruffier) than Half Moon Bay, spends 32% of its budget ($197 per capita) on its police department, compared to Half Moon Bay’s 43% of budget and $375 per capita.
Next year, the city plans to spend $4.7 million on its police department, not including its stated desire to build a police station.