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Buffalo scores high in police spending efficiency

When it comes to return on investment for police spending, the City of Buffalo ranks eighth among the 110 cities analyzed by a personal finance social network.

The analysis, by WalletHub, divided the total safety rate (which they calculated as 100 percent minus property and violent crime rates) by per-capita police spending in fiscal year 2011, adjusting for poverty and unemployment rates, and median household income.

“It is important to underline the fact that efficiency is different from overall safety,” noted a spokesman for WalletHub.

Data used to create these rankings were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Flint, Mich., ranked as the best, while Washington, D.C., was the worst. Syracuse came in 10th.

Buffalo’s spending, per capita, was $338, placing it at 50th out of the 110 cities analyzed. At $155, Louisville, Ky., spent the least, while the $978 spent by Washington, D.C., was the most.

Syracuse’s per-capita spending was $392, placing it 73rd out of 110 in that category.

When it comes to crime rates in the 110 cities examined, Buffalo did not do nearly as well, placing 91st. Providence, R.I., had the lowest and Birmingham, Ala., the highest. Syracuse was 37th.

Meanwhile, Rochester had an overall adjusted ranking of 42nd out of 110. It was at 75th on the crime rate rankings and 93rd on spending per capita, at $484.

Data presented for poverty and unemployment rates, as well as median household income, identified only the five best and worst cities. Syracuse was among those with the highest poverty rates.