The collection and analysis of law enforcement data is a process that continues to yield valuable information for law enforcement and help advance community policing. For example, law enforcement statistics can help agencies do the following:
The COPS Office, in its ongoing partnership with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), has provided funding and substantive expertise for the collection and dissemination of law enforcement statistics through its support of the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. The LEMAS survey is administered by the BJS to all law enforcement agencies with 100 or more sworn personnel, as well as a representative sample of smaller agencies. As a result, law enforcement data has been collected on a nationally representative sample of nearly 18,000 publicly funded state and local law enforcement agencies operating full time.
The LEMAS survey program began with its 1987 administration. Updated versions were completed in 1990, 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2003. The 1997 version marked the first time that the COPS Office was invited, through an Interagency Agreement, to participate in survey development, resulting in the addition of a new LEMAS survey section called "Community Policing Activities." In 1999, the COPS Office funded a special LEMAS administration that would enable an analysis of community policing changes over time. The COPS Office provided additional support to the LEMAS survey in 2000 and 2003.
Enhanced by the ongoing collaboration between BJS and COPS, the LEMAS surveys continue to be instrumental in assessing the state of law enforcement in the United States. A series of reports summarizing the statistical information collected in the LEMAS surveys can be found in Guides and Reports.
The COPS Office has supported other law enforcement statistics projects in partnership with BJS, including the following:
The COPS Office has also identified Links to Other Resources and may provide a starting point for individuals seeking additional law enforcement statistics.