The Source for Crime and Justice Data

Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS), 1987 (ICPSR 9222)

Alternate Title:   Sample Survey of Law Enforcement Agencies

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


This survey, the first in the Bureau of Justice Statistics' program on Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS), presents information on three types of general purpose law enforcement agencies: state police, local police, and sheriffs' departments. Data from the primary state police agency in each of 49 states (Hawaii does not have a state police agency) are also presented. Variables include size of the populations served by the typical police or sheriffs' department, levels of employment and spending, various functions of the department, average salary levels for uniformed officers, and other matters relating to management and personnel.

Series: Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


United States Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS), 1987. ICPSR09222-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-01.

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    administration, budgets, law enforcement, law enforcement agencies, management, personnel, police departments, statistical data, wages and salaries, workers

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1987-06--1988-06

Date of Collection:   

  • 1988-07--1989-03

Universe:    All United States state law enforcement agencies and city and township law enforcement agencies.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The number of sheriffs' agencies in this report may not correspond exactly to the totals found in other publications. Also, the total number of agencies is the result of the weighted sample and not an exact count of all agencies nationwide.

During the course of data collection, the sampling frame was found to be deficient in Texas because a number of constable offices had not been included. A systematic sample of one-fourth of these offices was added to the survey.


Sample:    State law enforcement agencies and city and township law enforcement agencies with 135 or more sworn employees were selected. County police, as distinguished from sheriffs' departments, were combined with municipal and township law enforcement agencies in the category of local police agencies. The remaining agencies were selected in a two-stage process. The first-stage units were counties, the same as those selected for the SURVEY OF INMATES OF LOCAL JAILS, 1983 [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 8274). For that survey, all counties in the United States were divided into five strata based on the average daily inmate population of the jails in the county. The first stratum included all counties containing jails with average daily populations of 100 inmates or more. These counties were included with certainty. The other four strata, with decreasing average jail populations, were sampled at varying intervals. A sixth stratum was added for the LEMAS survey to represent those states with combined jail/prison systems that were not included in the 1983 Survey of Local Jails. All counties in these states were included with certainty. All county-level law enforcement agencies in the counties selected for the sample were included in the survey. The second-stage units were municipal and township law enforcement agencies. A sample of these agencies was selected from within the six strata based on the number of sworn employees in the agency. In all, 3,054 law enforcement agencies were included in the sample. The final weight assigned to each case was the inverse of its probability of selection.

Data Source:

self-enumerated forms

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-12-15

Version History:

  • 2012-08-01 Short and long form surveys have been added to the codebook.
  • 2008-12-04 The dataset was updated with the full Hermes generated product suite and the codebook has been updated.
  • 1997-05-30 Minor corrections have been made to the codebook. In addition, SAS data definition statements are now available for this collection, and the SPSS data definition statements were updated.

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