The City of Geneva Police Department employs a total of 34 sworn officers, in a city of slightly more than 13,000 residents.
Around 100 miles west of Geneva, the City of Tonawanda (NY) Police Department employs a total of 28 sworn officers, in a city of slightly more than 15,000 residents.
Why does the City of Tonawanda have six fewer police officers but 2,000 more residents than the City of Geneva? Does Geneva have too many police officers?
Geneva Believer has examined publicly available information related to staffing levels for five similarly-sized cities across New York State to find out how Geneva stacks up.
Geneva: Fewest Residents & Most Cops?
There are six cities in New York State with populations between 13,000 and 15,500:
Utilizing official online information sources for each of the six cities, it appears that the City of Geneva has more total police officers than each of the other five larger cities.
While Olean and Batavia are close to Geneva in total number of sworn officers, both of those cities have significantly larger populations.
Cops Per Capita
It also appears that, out of the six small cities, Geneva has the highest number of police officers per capita .
In Geneva, there is one sworn police officer for every 390 residents.
In the other five cities, there is an average of one sworn police officer for every 496 residents.
If the City of Geneva had an average of one sworn police officer for every 496 residents, it would have 27 sworn officers, seven fewer than the current roster.
How Many Is Enough?
The City of Geneva’s top two highest-paid employees are police officers.
Three out of the City of Geneva’s top 5 highest-paid employees are police officers.
Sixty percent of the City of Geneva’s top 20 highest-paid employees are police officers.
If the Geneva Police have even one more officer on staff than absolutely necessary, city taxpayers lose millions of dollars over the course of that officer’s career.
Several current city councilors have expressed support for examining the staffing levels in certain city departments, including the fire department (Councilor Ken Camera) and the DPW (At-Large Councilor Frank Gaglianese).
No city department should be immune from having their staffing levels examined, including the police department.
A preliminary examination of police staffing levels in Geneva and five similarly-sized New York State cities has revealed enough evidence of a disparity to justify more serious study.
City Council needs authorize and complete a bona fide and impartial cost-benefit analysis of the GPD to find out if the people of Geneva are being charged millions of unnecessary dollars so they can be over-policed.