For over 30 years, BJS has been the authoritative source for national statistics regarding the personnel, operations, policies, and procedures of law enforcement agencies. These data are primarily collected through two core law enforcement data collection programs: the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) core and supplement surveys and the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA).
Through the Law Enforcement Core Statistics Program (LECS), BJS administers LEMAS and CSLLEA as a cohesive law enforcement data collection program and reshapes their content to focus on agency performance as well as contemporary topics related to agency staffing, regulations, and policies. Through LECS, BJS provides detailed information that aligns these collections with the ongoing national debate about the need for new measures and metrics for law enforcement agencies.
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.