That's a higher rate than 58% of US Police Departments.
We obtained data on 356 California police departments.
Scorecard at a Glance
Average for 4 Sections: 51%
Scores range from 0-100% comparing cities with 50-100k population. Cities with higher scores spend less on policing, use less force, are more likely to hold officers accountable and make fewer arrests for low-level offenses.
|Police Funding: 67%|
|Police Budget Cost per Person|
|Police Presence/Over-Policing (Officers per Population)|
|Police Violence: 50%|
|Force Used per Arrest|
|Deadly Force per Arrest|
|Unarmed Victims of Deadly Force per Arrest|
|Racial Disparities in Deadly Force|
|Police Accountability: 39%|
|Misconduct Complaints Upheld|
|Excessive Force Complaints Upheld|
|Discrimination Complaints Upheld|
|Criminal Misconduct Complaints Upheld|
|Approach to Law Enforcement: 49%|
|Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses|
|Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests|
3 Killings by Police
125 civilian complaints of police misconduct
21% were ruled in favor of civilians from 2016-21.
28,634 arrests made
51% of all arrests were for low-level, non-violent offenses from 2013-21.
Police Funding By Year
$20.61M | 84,197 Residents | $245 per Resident
More Police Funding per Capita than 38% of Depts
Number of officers per 1k population
96 Officers | 11.4 per 10k Residents
More Officers per Population than 24% of Depts
More Police Shootings per Arrest than 40% of Depts
5 Shootings | 2.2 every 100k arrests
Used More Force per Arrest than 43% of Depts
120 Incidents | 68 every 10k arrests | ▶-35%
3 Killings by Police from 2013-21 | 0.9 every 10k arrests
^ More Killings by Police per Arrest than 58% of Depts
Police Shootings Where Police Did Not Try Non-Deadly Force Before Shooting
80% of Shootings from 2016-21 (4/5)
Deadly Force by Armed Status
N/A Unarmed | N/A Did Not Allegedly Have a Gun
^ More Unarmed People Killed per Arrest than N/A of Depts
Police Violence by Race
Population of Merced
Merced Police Dept Demographics
Total civilian complaints
125 from 2016-21 | 21% Ruled in Favor of Civilians
Use of Force Complaints
9 Reported | 22% Ruled in Favor of Civilians
Complaints of Misconduct in Jail
0 Complaints Reported
Complaints of Police Discrimination
6 Reported | 0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians
Alleged Crimes Committed by Police
0 Complaints Reported
Arrests By Year
28,634 Arrests Reported from 2013-2021
Arrests for Low Level Offenses
14,585 Arrests | 24 per 1k residents
^ Higher Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses than 64% of Depts
Percent of total arrests by type
All Arrests for Low Level Offenses ( 51% )
Drug Possession ( 17% )
Violent Crime ( 11% )
51 Homicides from 2013-21 | 33 Unsolved
^ Solved Fewer Homicides than 8% of Depts
Percent of Homicides Unsolved by Race
Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 60% )
Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 70% )
Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 17% )
California Police Department Scores
Rankings are based upon a 0 to 100 percentage scale. Departments with higher scores use less force, make fewer arrests for low level offenses, solve murder cases more often, hold officers more accountable and spend less on policing overall.
Overall Scores for Depts where We Have Obtained the Most Data.
Tap "show more" to see extended list
* An asterisk indicates this location did not publish enough data to evaluate. Click below to add data to the Scorecard.
About This Scorecard
This is the first nationwide evaluation of policing in the United States. It was built using data from state and federal databases, public records requests to local police departments, and media reports. While police data is never perfect, and there are additional indicators that still need to be tracked, the Police Scorecard is designed to provide insight into many important issues in policing.
Police Scorecard is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, learn more about our team here. If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact our Founder, Samuel Sinyangwe.
Use this Scorecard to identify issues within police departments that require the most urgent interventions and hold officials accountable for implementing solutions. For example, cities with higher rates of low level arrests could benefit most from solutions that create alternatives to policing and arrest for these offenses. In cities where police make fewer arrests overall but use more force when making arrests, communities could benefit significantly from policies designed to hold police accountable for excessive force. And cities where complaints of police misconduct are rarely ruled in favor of civilians could benefit from creating an oversight structure to independently investigate these complaints.
Here's how to start pushing for change
Contact your Mayor and Police Chief, share your scorecard with them and urge them to enact policies to address the issues you've identified:
Advocacy Tip: We've identified problematic language in this city's police union contract that could make it harder to hold officers accountable. Learn more about this contract and how to change it at Nixthe6.org.
Mayor Mike Murphy
Police Chief Christopher Goodwin
- Mayor Mike Murphy
Look up your state and federal representatives below, then tell them to take action to hold police accountable in your community.
Join a team of researchers, students, data scientists, activists and organizers working to collect, analyze and use data for justice and accountability.
Create data visualizations and content that raises awareness about solutions to the issues identified by the data.
Step 1: COMPLETED
Obtain data on 100 California cities. Refine methodology in response to feedback from communities, researchers and local officials.
Step 2: COMPLETED
Expand to every major law enforcement agency in America and include additional indicators such as police budgets and jail incarceration.
Step 3: IN PROGRESS
Inform data-driven solutions nationwide. Update as new federal, state and local data are collected. Track progress and hold cities accountable to results.