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Since 1993, Aurora, CO, has had an unusual law: for every 1000 residents, the city must have two sworn, uniformed police officers.
At last count, the city's population was approaching 325,000, which means this year the city will hire 13 more police officers, at a cost of $1.1 million, to ensure the police force meets the mandated staffing level. It translates to 658 FTEs. And this is uniformed officers--not dispatchers, not lab technicians, or any other civilian staff.
Now, imagine the unimaginable: What if this law were applied to public libraries? At the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, for example, which is cutting staff and hours deeply, there would be …