Resource Guide
Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics

Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics

These surveys were first collected in 1987 and are administered approximately every three years. They present information on law enforcement agencies in the United States: state police, county police, special police (state and local), municipal police, and sheriff's departments. Variables include size of the population served by the police or sheriff's department, levels of employment and spending, various functions of the department, average salary levels for uniformed officers, policies and programs, and other matters related to management and personnel.

Using the Resource Guide

The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), a part of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, designed this Resource Guide for World Wide Web users to learn about the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics dataset and to connect to other capital punishment information sources.

With this guide, first time users or experienced analysts can:

File Structure

Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics is available from 1987 through the present from the ICPSR. All files are in logical record length (lrecl) format. SPSS and SAS data definition statements are provided, giving the format and other information for each variable in the rectangular data file. The rectangular data file is constructed with a single logical record for each case.

Sampling Information

The law enforcement agencies were separated into two groups for the purpose of sample selection: self-representing (SR) and non-self-representing (NSR) agencies. All state police are SR. The definitions of SR and NSR are shown below.


    An agency is SR if it meets one of the following two criteria:

    • An agency is a State Police agency

    • An agency has 100 or more sworn full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.

    Average number of sworn FTE = rounded [(# sworn full time employees) + 0.5 * (# worn part-time employees)]


    All remaining agencies in Sheriff's Department, Local Police, and Special Police categories are NSR.

An agency can be out-of-scope for the collection year because it disbanded after the previous collection year but before the current collection year. An agency can also be out-of-scope because it never should have been in the universe in the first place. An attachment in the codebook lists agencies that are out-of-scope for the purposes of that data's collection year.

Weighting the Sample

Information on creating cells for weighting and imputation can be found in the codebook for each collection year.

Each agency that responds to the questionnaire receives:

  • a base weight,
  • a final universe post-stratification factor from the previous collection year,
  • a final universe post-stratification factor for the current collection year,
  • a non-response adjustment factor, and
  • a final weight.

These are each detailed in the codebook.

THE NON-RESPONSE ADJUSTMENT FACTOR Some of the agencies selected for the sample did not return a questionnaire. To account for the non-response, we use a non-response adjustment factor (see codebook for variable information). The non-response adjustment factor is applied within a collapsed cell. A list of non-response agency identification numbers is available in the codebook.

The non-response adjustment factor for a given imputation cell i can be calculated using a formula provided in the codebook.

Data Limitations

National estimates from a given data year, such as the total number of agencies or the total number of employees, cannot be directly compared to national estimates from the previous data year due to changes in the universe.

Users should be aware that estimates of law enforcement employees from this survey will differ from estimates from other sources, such as the Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts, which are based on the Annual Finance Survey and the Annual Employment Survey.

Although the universe for this survey is state and local law enforcement agencies that are publicly funded and employ at least one full-time or part-time sworn officer with general arrest powers, there can be agencies in the sample who reported 0 sworn officers. This can happen in small agencies, which employed a sworn officer when the universe information was collected. However, if that sworn officer is no longer employed by the agency when the sample information is collected and has yet to be replaced, the agency reports 0 sworn officers.

GIS Analysis of Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics Data

The Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics dataset contains FIPS County Codes as a geographical identifier. These data were not collected for the purpose of mapping or conducting spatial analysis, so users may have to do additional work to make these data compatible with their particular GIS software.

The GIS Resources page at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data contains tutorials, analysis programs, and other resources, and the Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety (MAPS) Program of the National Institute of Justice has additional mapping tools.

Other Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics Resources

Web Sites

Program Assessments & Policy Support at the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services Site

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Law Enforcement Statistics


The link below will search the NACJD citations database for related publications with select words in their title. Users can create their own searches or browse the citations database through our Publications Bibliography Web page.

Search for Law Enforcement Management Publications

Search for Local Police Departments Publications

Search for Sheriffs' Departments Publications