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Full-Time Employees in Law Enforcement Agencies, 1997-2016

NCJ Number
Date Published
Shelley Hyland .
Publication Type
Survey, Statistics, Report (Annual/Periodic), Program/Project Description
This report provides data for 1997-2016 on full-time sworn and civilian employees of general-purpose law enforcement agencies in the United States, which includes municipal, county, and regional police departments, most sheriff's offices, and primary state and highway patrol agencies.
General-purpose law enforcement agencies are distinct from special-purpose agencies, such as those with jurisdiction on tribal lands and in parks, schools, airports, subways, hospitals, housing authorities, and government buildings, including sheriffs' offices with only jail and court duties and federal law enforcement agencies. As of June 30, 2016, the 15,328 general-purpose U.S. law enforcement agencies employed an estimated 701,000 full-time sworn officers. From 1997 to 2016, the number of full-time sworn officers in these agencies increased by about 53,000 (8-percent increase). During the same period, the total U.S. population increased by about 56 million (21-percent increase). Thus, the number of full-time sworn officers per 1,000 residents decreased from 2.42 in 1997 to 2.17 in 2016 (11-percent decrease). From 1997 to 2016, the number of full-time civilian employees in general-purpose law enforcement agencies increased by about 121,000 (53-percent increase). From 1997 to 2016, the number of full-time civilians in sheriffs' offices increased 110 percent (about 98,000). The source of these data, the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, collects data on a range of topics from a nationally representative sample of state, county, and local law enforcement agencies. The methodology for the 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, and 2013 LEMAS surveys is discussed in previously published reports on the Bureau of Justice Statistics website. The agency response rate and accuracy of the estimates are discussed in the current report. 6 tables and 1 figure
Date Created: August 28, 2018