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Home | Law Enforcement | Sheriffs' Offices
Sheriffs' Offices
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More than 3,000 sheriffs' offices operate across the United States. A sheriffs' office is a local law enforcement agency organized at the county level and directed by a sheriff, who is usually an elected official. Most sheriffs' offices perform a wide variety of law enforcement functions, including response to criminal incidents, response to calls for service, patrol, crime investigation, arrest of criminal suspects, execution of warrants, traffic enforcement, traffic direction and control, accident investigation, drug enforcement, and crime prevention. Sheriffs' office also have countywide responsibilities related to jail operation, prisoner transportation, process service, enforcement of court orders, and court security. The authority of sheriffs' offices varies by state and county. Sheriffs' offices are typically responsible for patrolling unincorporated areas of the county or areas in between municipalities. While some sheriffs' offices are full-service countywide law enforcement agencies, others have limited or no law enforcement jurisdiction in county areas served by local or municipal police departments.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Sheriffs' Office Personnel, 19932013 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

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)

Sheriffs' Offices, 2007 - Statistical Tables Presents data collected from a nationally representative sample of sheriffs' offices on a variety of agency characteristics.
  PDF (706K) | ASCII file (16K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 65K)
Part of the Sheriffs' Office Series

Hiring and Retention of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 - Statistical Tables Presents the results of a special survey administered to a nationally representative sample of agencies that participated in the 2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.
  PDF (995K) | ASCII file (36K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 89K)
Part of the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Series

Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 Presents findings from a nationally representative survey of nearly 60,000 residents age 16 or older about their contact with police during the 12 months prior to the interview.
  Press Release | PDF (932K) | ASCII file (48K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 51K) | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008 Presents the results of the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, which is conducted every four years and covers approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.
  PDF (836K) | ASCII file (36K) | Spreadsheets (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Series

Gang Units in Large Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2007 Presents data from the first nationwide study of specialized police units dedicated solely to addressing gang activity.
  Acrobat (PDF 378K) | ASCII file (20K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 33K)

Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2004 "Law enforcement employment grew between 2000-2004 according to Justice Department study"
  Press Release | More information about this release

Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2004 Reports the results of a census, conducted every four years, of all State and local law enforcement agencies operating nationwide.
  Press Release | PDF (337K) | ASCII file (34K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K)
Part of the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Series

Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2002 "Federal, state and local crime lab backlog reached 500,000 in 2002"
  Press Release | More information about this release

Terms & Definitions

Sheriff The elected chief officer of a county law enforcement agency, usually responsible for law enforcement in unincorporated areas and for the operation of the county jail.
 
Sworn officers Persons formally authorized to make arrests while acting within the scope of explicit legal authority.