Public Safety

2021 County Revenues & Expenditures: Public Safety


Providing for public safety is one of the core functions of county governments. Counties provide for safety through support of first- responder services from sheriffs’ offices, ambulance services, fire and rescue, and emergency management centers that protect the public during natural or man-made disasters, terrorism, emergencies, and public health threats.

In FY 2018, Public Safety expenditures accounted for $10,914,306,075 , or 23.47% of all statewide expenditures for Florida’s counties, the single largest expenditure category. The statewide average percentage share was equal to 30.27%, when comparing Public Safety expenses to all expenditures on a county-by-county basis. The total per capita spending for Public Safety expenditures was equal to $523.70 per person statewide. This represents an increase of $536,220,575 , or 5.17% from the previous fiscal year. The total per capita spending for Public Safety expenditures increased by $17.06, or 3.37% from the previous fiscal year.
The majority of Public Safety spending was Nearly half of all Public Safety expenditures concentrated within three expenditure categories statewide: Law Enforcement, Fire Control, and Detention and Corrections. These three categories accounted for about 83% of total Public Safety spending, $434.72 in per capita expenditures for FY 2018.

Nearly half of all Public Safety expenditures (46.30%) were spent on Law Enforcement services. The total per capita spending for Law Enforcement expenditures was $242.46. Specifically, these expenditures account for Sheriff personnel, operating, and capital costs.
Emergency and Disaster expenditures account Fire Control expenditures accounted for the second highest expenditure category at 18.81%, while Detention and Corrections expenditures followed at 17.90% of statewide Public Safety expenditures. The total per capita spending for Fire Control expenditures was $98.50 and $93.76 for Detention and Corrections. Fire Control sources consist of all fire-related costs including fire departments, fire districts, and fire control services. Detention and Corrections sources primarily consist of housing and rehabilitation costs of corrections programs including parole & probation, facilities, juvenile programs, and work release programs.

Ambulance and Rescue Services expenditures account for all costs related to the transport of the sick and injured for care services. These costs equaled the fourth highest expenditure category with a 6.82% share of total statewide Public Safety expenditures. The total per capita spending for Ambulance and Rescue Services was $35.74.

Emergency and Disaster Expenditures account for natural disaster spending and relief as well as emergency communications systems. These costs equaled the fifth highest expenditure category with a 4.00% share of total statewide Public Safety expenditures. The total per capita spending for Emergency and Disaster was $20.96. The expenditure categories of Protective Inspections, Medical Examiners, Consumer Affairs, and Other Public Safety spending collectively accounted for 6.16% of the total Public Safety expenditures. The total per capita spending for Protective Inspections, Medical Examiners, Consumer Affairs, and Other Public Safety was $13.51, $4.29, $3.67, and $10.83 respectively.
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