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Home Crime in the U.S. 2012 Crime in the U.S. 2012 Police Employee Data

Police Employee Data

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The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines law enforcement officers as
individuals who ordinarily carry a firearm and a badge, have full arrest powers, and are
paid from governmental funds set aside specifically for sworn law enforcement

User’s note

Because of law enforcement’s varied service requirements and functions, as well as the
distinct demographic traits and characteristics of each jurisdiction, readers should use
caution when drawing comparisons between agencies’ staff levels based upon police
employment data from the UCR Program. In addition, the data presented here reflect
existing staff levels and should not be interpreted as preferred officer strengths
recommended by the FBI. Lastly, it should be noted that the totals given for sworn
officers for any particular agency reflect not only the patrol officers on the street but also
the officers assigned to various other duties such as those in administrative and
investigative positions and those assigned to special teams.

Data collection

• Each year, law enforcement agencies across the United States report to the UCR
Program the total number of sworn law enforcement officers and civilians in their
agencies as of October 31.
• Civilian employees include personnel such as clerks, radio dispatchers, meter
attendants, stenographers, jailers, correctional officers, and mechanics provided that
they are full-time employees of the agency.

Summary overview

• In 2012, a total of 14,006 law enforcement agencies provided data on the number of
full-time law enforcement employees (sworn officers and civilian personnel) on staff.
• Nationally in 2012, the rate of sworn officers was 2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants. The rate
of full-time law enforcement employees (civilian and sworn) per 1,000 inhabitants
was 3.4. (Based on Table 74.)
• The largest officer-to-individual rate among the city population groups was an
average of 3.6 officers per 1,000 inhabitants in cities with fewer than 10,000
residents. (See Table 71.)
• County agencies reported an average of 2.6 officers per 1,000 inhabitants. (See Table
• Sworn officers accounted for 70.1 percent of all law enforcement personnel in the
United States in 2012. (Based on Table 74.)

What you won’t find on this page

Line-of-duty deaths of police officers. The annual UCR publication Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted contains extensive information on line-of-duty deaths (felonious and accidental) and assaults on local, college and university, state, tribal, and federal officers. The publication can be found at