Escondido, San Marcos public safety allocations revealed by SANDAG report

SANDAG report shows Escondido and San Marcos public safety expenditure numbers.

Escondido led San Diego County jurisdictions this fiscal year in the percentage of overall public safety funding allocated in the city budget. The city allocated 43 percent of its budget to law enforcement, a similar percentage as El Cajon. Otherwise, the nine incorporated cities in the county spent an average of 33 percent of budgets on law enforcement.

Not all the Escondido funding came from residents and taxpayers. Escondido took in $1.3 million in grant funding this fiscal year. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Title page of new SANDAG report.

Title page of new SANDAG report.

Those were among the findings in a new SANDAG report authored by Dr. Cynthia Burke and Liz Doroski titled “Public Safety Allocations in the San Diego Region: Expenditures and Staffing for Fiscal Year 2015.”

Spending by public safety agencies in San Diego County edged up slightly in FY 2014-15, marking the fourth straight year that expenditures have increased, according to the report just released by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.

Combined, agencies across the region spent nearly $2 billion, up 2 percent from the previous year and 11 percent higher than five years ago.

“These increases are due in part to the region’s strengthening economy and higher labor costs,” Burke, SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Director, said. “They are also due to an infusion of state funding intended to help local agencies address the impact of AB109 – the state’s prison realignment.”

Spending on law enforcement in Escondido and San Marcos have recovered to pre-recession levels. Escondido spent $38.2 million in Fiscal Year 2005-06. That dipped to $31.9 million in FY 2010-11, then started rebounding to $35.3 million in FY 2013-14 and $37.3 million in FY 2014-15. While representing a minus-2 percent drop over 10 years, it registered a 17 percent increase over five years and 6 percent increase this fiscal year compared to last fiscal year.

San Marcos showed a similar pattern, with the Sheriff’s Office spending $15.6 million in FY 2005-06, $13.7 million in FY 2010-11, $15.1 million in FY 2013-14 and $15.4 million in FY 2014-15; or a minus-1 percent decrease over 10 years with 13 percent increase over the last five years and 2 percent increase this fiscal year over last fiscal year.

Escondido checkpoint

Escondido DUI checkpoint.

Sworn law enforcement agency personnel followed the same pattern. Escondido had 167 sworn personnel in FY 2005-06, 156 in FY 2010-11, 168 in FY 2013-14 and 168 in FY 2014-15. San Marcos had 83 in FY 2005-06, 78 in FY 2010-11, 79 in FY 2013-14 and 79 in FY 2014-15.

Non-sworn personnel in Escondido totaled 67 in FY 2005-06, 54 in FY 2010-11, 59 in FY 2013-14 and 59 in FY 2014-15. San Marcos non-sworn personnel weren’t broken out, but the San Diego Sheriff’s Office overall increased numbers 4 percent in the last 10 years, 3 percent in the last five years and 1 percent this year over last year. This was below countywide averages of 1.4 in FY 2005-06 and 1.31 in FY 2014-15.

As for sworn personnel per 1,000 population, Escondido was pretty much in the middle of the pack compared to other San Diego County jurisdictions. The city had 1.18 sworn personnel per 1,000 people in FY 2005-06 and 1.14 in FY 2014-15.

San Marcos, however, was on the low side with 1.14 per 1,000 in FY 2005-06 dropping to 0.88 per 1,000 in FY 2014-15. One might surmise that population growth and some force cutbacks accounted for this seeming anomaly,

As for expenditures per capita, the average in San Diego County was $288 in FY 2005-06 and $291 in FY 2014-15. Escondido spent an average of $269 in FY 2005-06, $221 in FY 201-11, $241 in FY 2013-14 and $253 in FY 2014-15. San Marcos Sheriff’s spent $192 per capita in FY 2005-06, $163 in FY 2010-11, $173 in FY 2013-14 and $171 in FY 2014-15.

This annual report, part of the Crime in the San Diego Region series, examined how dollars were invested across the region’s criminal justice system.

It documented how jurisdictions allocate funds for law enforcement; how these figures relate to recent crime rates and population numbers; and how staffing figures are related to expenditures.

The report found that approximately one-third of general funds for all incorporated cities with their own police departments were dedicated to law enforcement costs.

Almost half – 47 percent – of public safety dollars spent in FY 2014-15 were allocated for law enforcement activities, with the other half divided across the six remaining categories: corrections, court-related costs, prosecution, probation, public defense.

Other notable facts in the report:

– A total of $616 per resident was spent for public safety in FY 2014-2015 in San Diego County.

– In the last five years, some of the largest expenditure increases went to public defense and probation field services and administration.

– Regionally, there were 1.31 sworn officers per 1,000 residents. That average, which remained unchanged for the second consecutive year, is well below the recent national figure of 2.3 per 1,000 residents.

– During the past five years, the ratio of sworn officers-to-population decreased for more than half of the region’s law enforcement agencies.

To view the entire report visit: