BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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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.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' 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


Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Offenders and Arrestees, 2018 This report compares the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program data on incidents of nonfatal violent crime to data from BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to determine if arrest differences by race and ethnicity can be attributed to differences in criminal involvement.
  Full report (PDF 580K) | Data tables (Zip format 16K)

Federal Deaths in Custody and During Arrest, 2016-2017 - Statistical Tables This report is the first in a series that examines deaths that occur during federal arrest, detention, and incarceration in the United States.
  Full report (PDF 648K) | Data tables (Zip format 15K)

Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2018 - Statistical Tables This report is the twelfth in a series that began in 1996. It examines the nature and frequency of residents' contact with police by residents' demographic characteristics, types of contact, perceptions of police behaviors, and police threats or use of nonfatal force.
  Full report (PDF 675K) | Data tables (Zip format 14K)
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Sheriffs' Offices: Policies and Procedures, 2016 This report presents statistics on selected policies and procedures of sheriffs' offices, based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey.
  Full report (PDF 403K) | Data tables (Zip format 21K)
Part of the Sheriffs' Office Series

Local Police Departments: Policies and Procedures, 2016 This report presents statistics on selected policies and procedures of local police departments, based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey.
  Full report (PDF 460K) | Data tables (Zip format 20K)
Part of the Local Police Departments Series

Selected Findings from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program This report presents statistics on crimes known to law enforcement that were voluntarily reported to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
  Full report (PDF 523K) | Data tables (Zip format 12K)

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2019 - Tables These tables are based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data collection.
  Full report (PDF 183K)

Offenses Known to Law Enforcement in Large Cities, 2018 FBI reported crime data for large cities of 250,000 population or more.
  Full report (PDF 1.1M)

Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2016 - Statistical Tables Provides information on the approximately 132,000 full-time federal law enforcement officers employed by 83 federal agencies.
  Full report (PDF 482K) | Data tables (Zip format 13K)
Part of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Series

Sheriffs' Offices, 2016: Personnel Provides personnel information on the approximately 3,000 sheriffs' offices in the United States.
  Summary (PDF 297K) | Full report (PDF 424K) | Data tables (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Sheriffs' Office Series

Terms & Definitions

Chemical agents A chemical compound that 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 where 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, or (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 electroshock weapons, such as stun guns and Tasers.
 
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