New London's budget is hardly austere. FBI data show that in 2010, the average total police employees (officers and civilians) in comparable cities between 25,000 to 49,999 population was 2.3 per 1,000 population. New London had 4.0, tied for second highest in the state with Hartford and behind New Haven. Norwich (with 40 percent greater population and 174 percent larger area) had 2.4 per 1,000 population, almost the national average. Yet their violent crime per capita was one-third of New London's. If our current population is 26,000, 60 total police employees would place us at the national average.
New London's median teacher pay last year was almost $71,000, not far behind Chicago's average at $76,000, highest in the nation among major cities. Our highest paid teachers earned over $92,000. This omits 20 administrators paid over $100,000 each. Our teachers are paid among the top 12 percent in the state and top 10 percent in the nation.
If anybody tells you our budget is fat-free, try not to laugh.