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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Law Enforcement
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Law enforcement describes the individuals and agencies responsible for enforcing laws and maintaining public order and public safety. Law enforcement includes the prevention, detection, and investigation of crime, and the apprehension and detention of individuals suspected of law violation.

BJS's Law Enforcement Unit maintains more than a dozen national data collections, covering federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and special topics in law enforcement. Most data collections are conducted every 2 to 4 years and focus on aggregate or agency-level responses, meaning the information that is collected pertains to units, such as police departments, training academies, and crime labs. The data from law enforcement agencies provide national estimates for personnel, equipment, operations, agency policies, budgets, and job functions across agencies.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2013 Presents findings on the basic training programs of more than 600 state and local law enforcement training academies, including data on program content, recruits, and instructors.
  Summary (PDF 250K) | PDF (1.2M) | ASCII file (33K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 68K)
Part of the State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies Series

Sheriffs' Office Personnel, 1993-2013 Presents data on persons employed by the nations sheriffs offices on January 1, 2013, and employment trends since 1993.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 233K) | PDF (801K) | ASCII file (28K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 22K)
Part of the Sheriffs' Office Series

Sheriffs' Office Personnel, 1993-2013 THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES IN SHERIFFS' OFFICES INCREASED NEARLY 60 PERCENT FROM 1993 TO 2013
  Press Release
Part of the Sheriffs' Office Series

National Sources of Law Enforcement Employment Data This report describes and compares three law enforcement employment data sources: 1) the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, 2) the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP), and 3) the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA).
  PDF (1.8M) | ASCII file (48K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 23K)

Police Use of Nonfatal Force, 2002–11 Presents data on the threat or use of nonfatal force by police against white, black, and Hispanic residents during police contact.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 202K) | PDF (751K) | ASCII file (38K) | Comma-delimited values (CSV) (Zip format 26K)

Police Use of Nonfatal Force, 2002–11 REPORT: FROM 2002-11 BLACKS WERE 2.5 TIMES MORE LIKELY THAN WHITES TO EXPERIENCE NONFATAL FORCE BY POLICE
  Press Release

Local Police Departments, 2013: Equipment and Technology Presents findings on local police departments by population served in 2013, including comparisons with previous survey years.
  Press Release (8KB) | Summary (PDF 243KB) | PDF (640KB) | ASCII file (25KB) | Comma-delimited format (.csv) (Zip format 38KB)
Part of the Local Police Departments Series

Local Police Departments, 2013: Equipment and Technology AN ESTIMATED 32 PERCENT OF LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS WERE USING BODY-WORN CAMERAS IN 2013
  Press Release

Local Police Departments, 2013: Personnel, Policies, and Practices Presents findings on local police departments by population served in 2013, including comparisons with previous surveys dating back to 1987.
  Press Release | Executive Summary (PDF 85K) | PDF (751K) | ASCII file (36K) | Comma-delimited format (.csv) (Zip format 46K)
Part of the Local Police Departments Series

Arrest-Related Deaths Program: Data Quality Profile Provides a data quality profile of the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) component of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP).
  PDF (609K) | ASCII file (65K) | Zip format (59K)
Part of the Arrest-Related Deaths Series

Terms & Definitions

Chemical agents A chemical compound which has deleterious effects on human health. There are a number of different types of chemical agents, and a range of uses for these compounds, from crowd control to chemical warfare.
 
Cross deputization agreements Allow law enforcement personnel from state and tribal entities to cross jurisdictions in criminal cases. Cross deputization agreements have been used to enhance law enforcement capabilities in areas were state and tribal lands were contiguous and intermingled. Under some agreements, federal, state, county/local, and/or tribal law enforcement officers have the power to arrest Indian and non-Indian wrongdoers wherever the violation of law occurs.
 
DNA The abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the genetic material present in the cells of all living organisms. DNA is the fundamental building block for an individual's entire genetic makeup. A person's DNA is the same in every cell (with a nucleus). DNA is contained in blood, semen, skin cells, tissue, organs, muscle, brain cells, bone, teeth, hair, saliva, mucus, perspiration, fingernails, urine, feces, etc.
 
Law enforcement The generic name for the activities of the agencies responsible for maintaining public order and enforcing the law, particularly the activities of prevention, detection, and investigation of crime and the apprehension of criminals.
 
Less-lethal weapons Less-lethal technologies give police an alternative to lethal force. These weapons are especially valuable when lethal force┬┐(1) is not necessary, (2) is justified and available for backup, but lesser force may resolve the situation, (3) is justified, but its use could cause serious injury to bystanders or other unacceptable collateral effects. The weapons currently in use include : chemical agents, batons, soft projectiles, and electrical devices such as stun guns and Tasers.
 
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