GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — From mandating officers wear body cameras to outfitting police cruisers with rifles, policy changes for local departments come at a price for taxpayers, but a new study ranks Grand Rapids within the top 10 of cities nationwide having the best return on investment for police spending.
The Grand Rapids Police Department ranks 8th nationally, spending $297 per capita, according to WalletHub. The department issued a news release Sunday trumpeting the findings.
WalletHub, the online financial website, assessed 104 of the most populated cities in the U.S. to determine the rankings. The survey studied how cities spend public funds on police equipment by comparing the city’s total spending on safety to spending per person, or capita, and overall crimes rates.
>> See the full study here.
In March, the city approved purchasing more than $600,000 worth of body cameras for Grand Rapids police officers. The first 20 GRPD officers received their training on the body cameras earlier this month.
GRPD officers will also soon be equipped with Colt M4 semi-automatic rifles following city approval in December. At a cost of roughly $68,000, the 65 high-powered rifles will be placed in each patrol car. The total cost to fully implement the program and purchase the ammunition and car-locks will be roughly $300,000. Chief David Rahinsky said the money has already been allocated in the department’s budget.
WalletHub’s website says the company chose to survey local departments following high-profile shootings and concerns with police aggression, which have increased scrutiny on the use of taxpayer dollars to protect civilians.
Akron, Ohio was ranked the top city in the U.S. for return on investment for police spending. Detroit ranked 5th in the study.