Based on the 1997 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, this report presents data collected from a representative sample of the nearly 3,100 sheriffs' departments operating nationwide. Tables describe these agencies in terms of their personnel, expenditures and pay, operations, community policing initiatives, equipment, computers and information systems, and written policies.
- As of June 1997, sheriffs' departments had an estimated 263,427 full-time employees, including about 175,000 sworn personnel. Total employment was up by an average 4.4% per year since 1993, compared to 3.1% per year from 1987 to 1993.
- Racial and ethnic minorities comprised 19% of full-time sworn officers in sheriffs' departments in 1997. This compared to 16.9% in 1993, 15.5% in 1990, and 13.4% in 1987.
- Nearly all officers worked for departments that used criminal record checks (99%), background investigations (98%), driving record checks (95%), and medical exams (92%) to screen applicants. Psychological (75%), aptitude (69%), and physical agility (59%) tests were also widely used.