October 26, 2023
From Pickerington Councilman Brian Wisniewski
Councilman Wisniewski recently posted the following on his Facebook page and graciously granted Pickerington Online permission to republish.
There has been some Facebook discussions lately about our police department and staffing levels in regards to FBI national averages. I feel it important to clarify some of the information as some of what being discussed has been presented out of context.
Pickerington was recently listed as the 10th safest city in Ohio. The rankings were based off of a score that “represents the combined risk of rape, murder, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft compared to the national average of 100″
Because of the amazing job our Police department does we were ranked at a -96 along with 2 other cities in Ohio. Per the report they stated “For example, if an incredibly safe community had a -98 difference from the national average, it meant that place had a crime risk score of two.” The only other Central OH communities I saw listed in the report were Marysville at -77, Pataskala at -76 and Powell at -74.
Based on this Pickerington is an overall incredibly safe community. It doesn’t mean we don’t have crime, we certainly do, as does any city, especially ones abutting a major city like Columbus, but from major crimes we are extremely safe.
Now in regards to the FBI statistics being discussed. Given a population of 25K people Pickerington currently has 1.48 officers per 1000. Another officer is being budgeted for 2024, one was added in 2023 as well, which will bring our statistics to 1.52.
The Average number of officers per 1,000 inhabitants according to FBI statistics for Midwestern cities with populations between 25k and 50K is 1.5 which is exactly where Pickerington is statistically.
There are other things to look at beyond numbers on a chart though which help put things into perspective. For example our police department responds to emergency calls in less than 3 minutes and for non-emergency calls they respond in less than 5 minutes.
Between 2021 and 2022 Pickerington major crime statistics dropped significantly and our Police department and staff are to be thanked for that.
Columbus has roughly 2.3 officers per 1,000 residents but their response times are 10.5 minutes for Priority 1 calls and 59 minutes for Priority 4 calls.
As you can see there is a lot more to take into consideration than how many officers per 1,000 residents a community has.