Who Spends What on Public Safety?

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Budgets for the smallest to largest municipalities have some form of public-safety expenditures relating to law enforcement, fire protection, ambulance service, first responders, inspections and emergency government activities.

But not all municipalities are equal in this regard. The City of Sturgeon Bay, for example, has a professional fire department with full-time employees, but other municipalities such as Sevastopol contract with the city to provide those services. Most towns or villages have their own fire departments and buildings, or they share those in joint departments, and they are operated by volunteers who are paid by the call.

The public-safety budgets below reflect that variety. If major purchases or construction projects were budgeted for 2021, they are also reflected in the budgets. To give some perspective on that, we’ve also included how the 2021 public-safety budgets compare with 2020 as a percentage increase or decrease.

Start a conversation: Do you know how your public-safety services are structured and funded? If not, use that as a point of entry into a dialogue with your local government office staff and elected officials.