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Profile of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 1987

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1989

This survey for fiscal 1987 is based on a sample of 3,054 law enforcement agencies, including all State police agencies, all local agencies with 135 or more employees, and a sample of smaller agencies.


Local police agencies, sheriff's agencies, and State police agencies collectively employed 757,508 persons, including 555,364 sworn officers, and had operating expenses of more than $28 billion. Local police employed fewer civilians (24 percent) than sheriff's and State police agencies (about 32 percent). Of sworn employees in local police agencies, an estimated 7.6 percent were female, 85.4 percent were white, 9.3 percent were black, and 4.5 percent were Hispanic. For sheriff's agencies, 12.5 percent were female, 86.6 percent were white, 8.3 percent were black, and 4.3 percent were Hispanic. The proportions in State agencies were 4.2 percent female, 88.7 percent white, 6.5 percent black, and 3.8 percent Hispanic. All State agencies and almost all local and sheriff's agencies required new officer recruits to have at least a high school diploma, while about 10 percent of State and local agencies and about 6 percent of sheriff's agencies required at least some college. The average starting salary for an entry-level officer ranged from $13,768 to $22,930 in local police departments, $15,562 to $22,697 in sheriff's agencies, and $19,458 to $24,144 in State agencies. For local and sheriff's agencies, salaries were highest in those serving populations of 1 million or more. 28 tables.

Date Published: March 1, 1989