Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), 2008 (ICPSR 27681)

Alternate Title:   CSLLEA 2008

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


The BJS Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA) is conducted every 4 years to provide a complete enumeration of agencies and their employees. Employment data are reported by agencies for sworn and nonsworn (civilian) personnel and, within these categories, by full-time or part-time status. The pay period that included September 30, 2008, was the reference date for all personnel data. Agencies also complete a checklist of functions they regularly perform, or have primary responsibility for, within the following areas: patrol and response, criminal investigation, traffic and vehicle-related functions, detention-related functions, court-related functions, special public safety functions (e.g., animal control), task force participation, and specialized functions (e.g., search and rescue). The CSLLEA provides national data on the number of state and local law enforcement agencies and employees for local police departments, sheriffs' offices, state law enforcement agencies, and special jurisdiction agencies. It also serves as the sampling frame for BJS surveys of law enforcement agencies.

Series: Directory of Law Enforcement Agencies 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. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), 2008. ICPSR27681-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-03. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27681.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27681.v1

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This study was funded by:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    census data, law enforcement, personnel, police departments, police officers

Smallest Geographic Unit:    city

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2008

Date of Collection:   

  • 2008-06

Unit of Observation:    State and local law enforcement agency.

Universe:    All state and local law enforcement agencies that were publicly funded and employed at least one full-time or part-time sworn officer with general arrest powers.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data



The 2008 CSLLEA form was mailed to 20,110 agencies that were determined to potentially be operating on the reference date of September 30, 2008. This master list was created by compiling information from the following sources:

  • The 2004 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA).
  • Lists provided by Peace Officer Standards and Training offices and other state agencies.
  • An FBI list of agencies requesting new identifiers since the 2004 CSLLEA.

The data were collected on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. More than half (52 percent) of all responses were submitted in hardcopy version by mail or fax. Another 41 percent were received through a secure website operated by NORC. The remaining 7 percent of agencies did not respond by website, mail, or fax within the allotted time-frame and were contacted by phone to obtain their responses. BJS assisted with this non-response follow up. Responding agencies were screened for eligibility, and were excluded if any of the following conditions existed on the CSLLEA reference date of September 30, 2008. The percentage of agencies from the original master list that were ruled ineligible through each criterion is in parentheses.

  • The agency employed only part-time officers and the total combined hours worked by these officers averaged less than 35 hours per week (5.1 percent of agencies from master list excluded).
  • The agency was closed, represented a duplicate listing, or was otherwise an invalid entry on the master list (2.2 percent).
  • The agency contracted or outsourced to another agency for performance of all services (1.7 percent).
  • The agency did not employ personnel with general arrest powers (0.6 percent).
  • The agency did not operate with funds from a state, local, special district, or tribal government (0.6 percent).
  • All sworn officers volunteered their time on an unpaid basis (0.3 percent).

Data Source:

self-enumerated forms


Original ICPSR Release:   2011-08-03

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