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

NCJ Number
251762
Date Published
August 2018
Author(s)
Shelley Hyland, Ph.D., BJS Statistician
Publication Type
Publication
Annotation
Presents counts of full-time employees in general-purpose law enforcement agencies for 2016, with comparisons to prior years.
Abstract

Presents counts of full-time employees in general-purpose law enforcement agencies for 2016, with comparisons to prior years. General-purpose law enforcement agencies include municipal, county, and regional police departments; most sheriffs' offices; and primary state and highway patrol agencies. Results are shown by type of law enforcement agency and by sworn status. Rates of full-time sworn officers per 1,000 U.S. residents are also presented.

Highlights
  • The average number of full-time sworn officers per 1,000 U.S. residents decreased from 2.42 in 1997 to 2.17 in 2016 (down 11%).
  • From 1997 to 2016, the number of full-time sworn officers in general-purpose law enforcement agencies increased by about 52,000 (up 8%).
  • The number of full-time employees in general-purpose law enforcement agencies increased by about 174,000 (up 20%) from 1997 to 2016.
  • Among local police departments, the number of full-time sworn officers increased by about 48,000 (up 11%) from 1997 to 2016.
  • From 1997 to 2016, the number of full-time civilians in general-purpose agencies increased by about 121,000 (up 53%). The number of full-time civilians in sheriffs’ offices increased by 110%, or about 98,000.
Date Modified: October 25, 2019

One of the reporting agencies in the 2016 LEMAS dataset was ineligible, and three local police departments misreported the number of full-time sworn officers and non-sworn employees. The dataset was updated with corrected counts of full-time sworn officers and civilians.

Date Created: August 22, 2018