Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lisbon vs Standish The Facts Not The Hype

Does Lisbon need and can it afford its Large Police Force?

When I ask this question I often get the response,"without our  Police Department Lisbon would be overrun with crime". When I ask the same people for supporting data to back up their claims they are always silent.

Lets look at the actual data and compare two Maine towns about the same size and both close to a larger city that has a much higher crime rate.

Lisbon Maine
Population 8957 ---Violent crimes-5 --- property crime-107 ---  crime index 65.

Standish Maine
Population 9901 --- violent crimes-4  --- property crime-138 ---  crime index 61.

Both of these towns seem to be relatively crime free but that is where the similarities end.

Lisbon has a 33 member Police force and has a tax mil rate of $20.98 per $1000 valuation.

Standish has the "County" police the Town and has a tax mil rate of  $12.15 per $1000 valuation.

Lets translate this information into meaningful numbers. If you  own the average Maine home worth $150,000 dollars, 
and live in --

Lisbon You pay  $3,147 in real estate taxes.
Standish you pay $1823 in real estate taxes.  

If you look at the 11 communities, our size, on Maine's "50 most dangerous places in Maine" you will discover that 9 of these 11 communities have large police forces.

Large Police Forces don't necessarily reduce crime rates.

Given the above FACTS can anyone tell me why our Councilors insist on spending money, we don't have, to support a Police Force that doesn't statistically make us any safer?  

Why is this expensive Police Department so important to our Councilors that they are willing to Foreclose on the homes and dreams of Lisbon's financially less fortunate, in order to keep this Police Force?

Don't take my word for this, do the research yourself.
Police staff and Mil rates can be found on town web sites or by calling the towns.
Crime index numbers can be found here 

Joe Hill

Editors Note: Don't be misled by those that try to confuse the issue by saying the tax base and spending aren't equal in the two towns so the comparison is invalid. 

These people just don't understand that the difference in tax base and revenue is due to the reduction in mil rate. If you drastically cut spending/Mil rate by going to a County sheriff based Police Force the other numbers inevitably follow.