According to the 2020 BJS Law Enforcement and Management Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, departments serving 100,000 to 249,999 and 50,000 to 99,999 residents had the lowest average ratio (1.6 officers per 1,000 residents). Departments serving populations of 1 million or more had 3.0 officers per 1,000 residents.
LEMAS stands for Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics. The LEMAS survey is typically conducted every 3 to 4 years and collects data from over 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, including all those that employ 100 or more sworn officers and a nationally representative sample of smaller agencies. The first LEMAS survey was conducted in 1987. Data are obtained on the organization and administration of police departments and sheriffs' offices, including agency responsibilities, operating expenditures, job functions of sworn and civilian employees, officer salaries and special pay, demographic characteristics of officers, weapons and armor policies, education and training requirements, computers and information systems, video cameras, vehicles, special units, and community policing activities. Visit the LEMAS Series page and the LEMAS Data Collection section of our site to learn more.