The Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey collects data from a nationally representative sample of state, county, and local law enforcement agencies in the United States. For most questions, a reference date of June 30, 2016 was used.
The 2016 LEMAS sample design called for the survey questionnaire to be sent to 3,499 general purpose state and local law enforcement agencies. The design called for all agencies employing 100 or more sworn personnel to be included with certainty (self-representing), and for smaller agencies to be sampled from strata based on number of sworn officers and type of agency.
A total of 28 local police departments were determined to be out-of-scope for the survey because they were special jurisdiction agencies, had closed, had outsourced their operations, or were operating on a part-time basis. The final mail out total of 3,471 agencies included 2,612 local police departments, 810 sheriffs' offices, and the 49 state agencies.
A total of 2,779 agencies responded to the LEMAS questionnaire, for a response rate of 80%. The final database includes responses from 2,135 local police departments, 600 sheriffs' offices, and 49 state law enforcement agencies (including partial responses from 5 primary state police agencies). The overall response rate for local police departments was 82%, 74% for sheriffs' offices, and 90% for state law enforcement agencies.
In 2016, BJS administered the first LEMAS supplement on body-worn cameras (BWCs). The LEMAS Body-Worn Camera Supplement (LEMAS-BWCS) collected data from a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 general-purpose law enforcement agencies. The survey was administered to agencies regardless of whether they had BWCs and contained items for agencies with and without BWCs. The LEMAS-BWCS used the same sampling strategy as the LEMAS core but increased the sample size in order to power analysis for agencies with and without BWCs.
A total of 87 agencies were found to be ineligible for the LEMAS-BWCS. The final sample size of 4,976 agencies included 3,707 local and county police departments, 1,220 sheriffs' offices, and all 49 primary state police agencies.
A total of 3,928 agencies responded to the LEMAS-BWCS, for a response rate of 79%. The overall response rate for local police departments was 80%, 77% for sheriffs' offices, and 90% for primary state agencies.