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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' offices 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' 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

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

Body-Worn Cameras in Law Enforcement Agencies, 2016 Presents data on body-worn camera (BWCs) use and non-use in general-purpose law enforcement agencies for 2016.
  Press Release (251K) | Summary (PDF 209K) | Full report (PDF 484K) | Data tables (Zip format 29K)

Full-Time Employees in Law Enforcement Agencies, 1997-2016 Presents counts of full-time employees in general-purpose law enforcement agencies for 2016, with comparisons to prior years.
  Full report (PDF 325K) | Data tables (Zip format 7K)
Part of the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics 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

Sheriffs' Office Personnel, 1993-2013 Presents data on persons employed by the nation's sheriffs' offices on January 1, 2013, and employment trends since 1993.
  Press Release | Summary (PDF 233K) | Full report (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).
  Full report (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.
  Full report (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.
  Full report (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 | Full report (PDF 932K) | ASCII file (48K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 51K) | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Terms & Definitions

SARA SARA stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment. SARA is a commonly used problem-solving method involved in community policing. For more information visit the Center for Problem-Or Oriented Policing site.
 
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.