Public safety is a large, if not the largest, expenditure of any and every government at state, local and national levels. But in the past 20 years, the cost of maintaining safety, including law enforcement, emergency medical and fire protection, and other safety-related expenditures, has increased by about 300%. This increase has happened despite 20 years of declining crime rates. Interestingly, in Indiana per capita police numbers have been lower than the national average. Yet, crime numbers are down. Regarding public safety and crime numbers, the big question involves the relationship between the two, especially in Indiana.
The newest laws in Indiana support the increases in public safety spending. Counties can pass local income tax laws to fund deficits in public safety spending. To understand the full impact of this law, it is important to know what public safety spending entails. In Indiana, public safety money can be spent on economic development, community policing, and other new law enforcement techniques. The money does not just go to traditional police departments.