Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Life in San Diego: Police Forces and Housing Prices

PSoTD posted this report on funding of the sheriff's department in San Diego county--I found it interesting because I am from SD... but it is also a good picture of the increasing gap between the very rich and the service-workers (yes, police are a service industry). Just imagine what it must be like for K-12 teachers who start out at a lower wage... A reproduction of the post below:

How long until San Diego area Republicans start suggesting that the government create (and rent) housing to certain necessary types of government employees? From North County Times:

The county Sheriff's Department expects to get only about $8.4 million more to fight crime in 2005-06 ---- a relatively meager 1.8 percent budget increase ---- mainly because the county is still in the midst of a two-year deal to fork over local cash to help the state pay off its debt.

But even if they had more money, sheriff's officials said last week, they might not be able to spend it.

They said the department can't find enough recruits to hire and train to patrol streets and monitor jails even though it desperately needs them, a problem officials blamed on the Iraq war, San Diego County's exorbitant housing market, and the county's generally high cost of living.

Blame it on the Iraq war? Laughable. Here's what you need to know from the article:

According to the San Diego Association of Realtors, the median price of a single-family home in April was $530,000. And statistics compiled by the San Diego Housing Commission said a family must earn $135,000 a year to afford that.

Pay for sheriff's patrol deputies, meanwhile, begins at $39,000 and tops out at $69,000. Pay for jail and court deputies starts at $29,500 and tops out at $53,900.

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