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DOJ Press Release letterhead

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: Stu Smith
Phone: (202) 307-0784
TTY: (202) 514-1888


           WASHINGTON -- There were about 1.1 million full-time state and local law enforcement employees in the U.S., including about 732,000 sworn personnel as of September 30, 2004, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. Local police departments were the largest employers, with 447,000 officers; followed by sheriffs' offices, with 175,000; state law enforcement agencies, with 58,000 and other types of agencies, with 52,000.

            From 2000 to 2004, the number of full-time sworn personnel employed by state and local law enforcement agencies increased by about 24,000, a smaller increase than that during prior
four-year periods. From 1996 to 2000, 44,500 officers were added; and from 1992 to 1996, 55,400 were added. From 2000 to 2004, the nationwide ratio of sworn personnel to residents actually declined slightly, from 252 per 100,000 to 249 per 100,000.

            Twenty of the 50 largest local police departments in the U.S. had fewer officers in 2004 than in 2000, including six of the seven largest. The largest agency, the New York City Police Department, had 36,118 full-time sworn personnel in 2004, 11 percent fewer than in 2000. The largest gains in sworn personnel were in police departments serving Las Vegas (23 percent); Austin, Texas, (19 percent), Fairfax County, Virginia, (17 percent), Atlanta (11 percent) and Albuquerque (11 percent).

            There were 17,876 state and local law enforcement agencies with at least 1 full-time officer operating in the United States in 2004. This included 12,766 local police departments (municipal, county, tribal and regional), 3,067 sheriffs offices, 49 state law enforcement agencies, 1,481 special jurisdiction agencies (those that served a special geographic jurisdiction or had special enforcement or investigative responsibilities) and 513 other agencies, mostly county constable offices in Texas.

            BJS administers the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies and publishes the results every four years. Previous census publications appeared in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

            The newest report, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2004 (NCJ-212749), was written by BJS statistician Brian A. Reaves. Following publication it can be found at

            For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics please visit the BJS Web site at

            The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at