Law enforcement describes the agencies and employees responsible for enforcing laws, maintaining public order, and managing public safety. The primary duties of law enforcement include the investigation, apprehension, and detention of individuals suspected of criminal offenses. Some law enforcement agencies, particularly sheriff’s offices, also have a significant role in the detention of individuals convicted of criminal offenses.
BJS maintains several national data collections, covering federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and special topics in law enforcement. Data are typically collected directly from law enforcement and related agencies, including crime laboratories, police departments, sheriff’s offices, and training academies.
Most data collections are conducted every 2 to 4 years and report aggregate findings. From these collections, BJS publishes national estimates for personnel, equipment, operations, policies, budgets, and job functions across agencies.
Recent Data Collections
In 2018, 86% of recruits completed basic training and 14% did not. Among the basic training outcomes measured, 4% of recruits did not complete basic training in 2018 because they voluntarily withdrew from their program, and 7% did not complete basic training for involuntary reasons (such as injury or illness, failure to qualify, or being withdrawn by their sponsoring agency). Eighty-eight percent of male recruits completed basic training in 2018, compared to 81% of female recruits.