The number of full-time sworn state and local law enforcement personnel increased by about 24,000 between 2000 and 2004, a smaller increase than that during previoius four-year periods, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. There were 1.1 million full-time state and local law enforcement employees in the U.S., including about 732,000 sworn personnel as of September 30, 2004. This included 447,000 local police officers and 175,000 sheriffs' officers.
As police forces overall increased, they got smaller in big cities. Twenty of the 50 largest local police departments had fewer officers in 2004 than in 2000, including six of the seven largest. The largest agency, the New York City Police Department, had 36,118 full-time sworn personnel in 2004, 11 percent fewer than in 2000. The largest gains in sworn personnel were in police departments serving Las Vegas (23 percent); Austin, Texas, (19 percent), Fairfax County, Virginia, (17 percent), Atlanta (11 percent), and Albuquerque (11 percent). There were 17,876 state and local law enforcement agencies with at least 1 full-time officer operating in the U.S. in 2004. This included 12,766 local police departments (municipal, county, tribal and regional), 3,067 sheriffs’ offices, 49 state law enforcement agencies, 1,481 special jurisdiction agencies (those that served a special geographic jurisdiction or had special enforcement or investigative responsibilities) and 513 other agencies, mostly county constable offices in Texas.