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Local Police Departments, 2016: Personnel

NCJ Number
Shelley S. Hyland; Elizabeth Davis
Date Published
October 2019
21 pages
Publication Series
This report presents data for 1997-2016 (June 30, 2016) on full-time sworn officers employed by general-purpose U.S. law enforcement agencies.

This report is the 11th in a series that began in 1987. It provides personnel information on the approximately 12,300 local police departments in the United States. It describes the number of sworn and civilian staff, demographic characteristics of sworn officers, and personnel assigned to specialized functions.

  • Local police departments employed about 468,000 full-time sworn officers in 2016.
  • Of the 50 largest local police departments, about two-thirds (33) had fewer full-time sworn officers per 10,000 residents in 2016 than in 1997.
  • About 3% of all local police departments served populations of 100,000 or more, and they employed about 52% of all full-time sworn police officers.
  • More than two-thirds (71%) of local police departments served populations of less than 10,000 residents.
  • About 1 in 8 local police officers, and about 1 in 10 first-line supervisors, were female.
  • About 1 in 4 local police officers, and about 1 in 5 first-line supervisors, were black or Hispanic.

Date Modified: January 27, 2021

Shortly before publishing, the population served by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was updated to 1,048,717 in appendix table 1. This change shifted the classification of population served from 500,000 to 999,999 to 1 million or more, but this change was not reflected in other tables that describe local police departments by population served. Tables, figures, and the summary have been updated accordingly.

Date Published: October 1, 2019