Study: Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio police among most overworked

Posted at 4:53 PM, Nov 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 19:25:58-04

BROOKVILLE, Ind. -- The Tri-State is one of the top areas where police officers are said to be busiest, according to a recent study.

The study, performed by home security and safety website, ranked Kentucky fourth, Indiana 10th and Ohio 15th among the states with the most overworked police officers. The study was based on the number of police officers per capita and the number of crimes per officer, using 2014 FBI crime statistics and Census data.

"It's not surprising," Brookville Police Chief Tim Wilkerson said.

Brookville has just nine full-time officers. The majority of police departments in Indiana have 25 or fewer officers, according to Wilkerson. Across the state, there is one police officer for every 294 people, according to the safewise study.

"You'll have single guys working a shift, so you rely on other agencies for assistance -- state police, sheriff's agencies," Wilkerson said.

Other factors considered in the study included poverty and population density.

Kentucky had one officer for every 297 people, according to the study. The state had relatively low violent crime rates -- 2.53 per capita -- but had a high property crime rate of 26.91 per capital.

In Ohio, there were an average of 13 crimes per officer, according to the study.

"Officers that I know have been overwhelmed or have gone through a time when they're working multiple cases," Officer Michael Strait said.

Wilkerson said he believes the more officers, the better. But as long as safety isn't compromised, the budget is the deciding factor.

"It's the balance of making sure when we're going to spend money, it's on something that is absolutely needed, as opposed to something that would be nice to have," he said.