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January 13, 2011

As New Jersey municipalities look to pool resources with their neighbors, they might do well to look at sharing police. It turns out that New Jersey has by far the highest number of sworn police officers in terms of population in the country -- 3.7 per 1,000 -- or 32,090 officers in 2009. That is 61 percent higher than the national average of 2.3 officers per 1,000, and 16 percent higher than New York, the state with the second-highest crime rate in the nation.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Statistics, New Jersey had 543 police agencies -- not surprising given the 566 municipalities in the state. Of 32,090 officers, only 2,653 were women.

When ranking the number of police in terms of population, neighboring Pennsylvania had only 1.9 per 1,000, about 14 percent below the national average. Delaware, however, was ranked high in terms of number of police, with 2.6 per 1,000.

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