By Ed Wallace / Publisher / July 18, 2022

The big news out of Uvalde, TX last week was that ”the 376 officers who responded to the massacre lacked clear leadership and communication as well as urgency to stop the gunman.”

The responding force was comprised of 149 U.S. Border Patrol officers, 91 state police, 25 Uvalde police officers and 16 sheriff’s deputies. Others on the scene included U.S. marshals, federal Drug Enforcement Agency officers and neighboring county law enforcement, the Texas Tribune reported.

So, what was the cost to the taxpayers for the equipment, training, and personal? 

According to Autotrader, a brand-new 2021 Police Interceptor Utility may start at about $42,000.

Mission Critical Communications Review, estmates that upfitting a law enforcement vehicle with the technology and equipment officers need every day in assisting emergencies and traffic stops, amount to around $40,000 give or take. 

Next: The average annual salary of a police officer is $82,162. Although a newly hired police officer receives a salary of $47,604 the first year, that officer reaches the average salary within 4 years of being hired. As such, the average annual salary more accurately reflects the cost of officers on the street. The average police officer also receives $55,070 in other benefits, as outlined below. In addition to salary and benefits costs, for each additional police officer additional supervisors must be added to maintain the appropriate ratio of officers to supervisors in line with public safety best practices and departmental protocol. For every 10 police officers, a sergeant must be present to supervise. Similarly, for every 50 police officers, a lieutenant is required. This supervision adds $12,130 to the cost of the average police officer. The following table outlines the costs discussed above, totalling to just under $150,000/year for the average police officer. The cost of federal officers is likely much higher.

It’s not cheap to equip a police office with all of the tools, training and equipment he or she needs for a day on the job.

In 2005, the price to outfit each officer with the equipment and protection to respond to a situation like Uvalde was put near $3,210.

The average cost of police academy training is $6,500, but according to the national Police Foundation, the real cost is a minimum of $100,000 in supervised on-the-job training and 18 months of probationary duty before an officer is ready for the job. In larger cities, it may take two or three years before an officer is considered fully trained. Some estimates put the total cost as high as $240,000. The average police recruit receives approximately 1,000 hours of training but this increases to approximately 1,800 for larger agencies.

The average resident spends $275.00 for law enforcement services annually ranging from $255.00 to $401.00 depending on population. 

Training includes community policing, use of force, use of blunt force projectiles (i.e., bean bags-rubber bullets), use of chemical agents (tear gas), active shooter, body-worn cameras, cultural awareness training, mass demonstrations, racial profiling, and external investigation policies for police agencies per the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the US Department of Justice.

Finally, The average annual pension is $23,400.

Added Up:

Vehicles: $42,000 each x 200(?) = $8,400,000

Upfitting: $40,000 each x 200 (?) = $8,000,000

Salary: $149,362 x 376 = $56,160,112

Uniform/Equipment: $3,210 x 376 = $1,206,960

Training: $100k-240k x 376 = $37,600,000 – $ 90,240,000

Pensions: $23,400 x 376 = $8,798,400

Total Costs: $119,165,242 – $171,805,012 

That’s $456,928 for each officer to be trained and equipped to run down the hallway, hide behind corners, and pass the buck. But, they sure looked good.

A “Police Swat Officer Deluxe Costume” at Walmart starts at $34.99 each.

Just sayin’.