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Publication Police Departments in Large Cities, 1990-2000

Brian A. Reaves, Ph.D., Matthew J. Hickman, Bureau of Justice Statistics

May 5, 2002    NCJ 175703

Describes trends from 1990 to 2000 among local police departments serving U.S. cities with 250,000 or more residents. Comparisons are made in terms of number of sworn and civilian personnel, female and minority representation among sworn personnel, officer salaries, officer training and education requirements, operating budgets, UCR crime rates, computers and information systems, types of equipment used, type and number of vehicles, and types of special units.


  • The number of residents served increased by 10%, resulting in a 7% increase in the number of full-time sworn personnel per 100,000 residents.
  • The number of UCR violent crimes decreased 34%, the number of UCR property crimes decreased 31%, and the number of full-time local police officers increased 17%.
  • The representation of Hispanics among officers increased from 9% to 14% in 2000, blacks from 18% to 20%, and women from 12% to 16%.
  • The percent of departments requiring new officers to have at least some college rose from 19% to 37%, and the percent requiring a 2-year or 4-year degree grew from 6% to 14%.

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