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Because of law enforcement's differing service requirements and functions as well as the varied demographic traits and characteristics of jurisdictions, use caution when drawing comparisons between agency staffing levels based upon police employment data from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The data merely reflect existing staffing levels and are not preferred officer strengths recommended by the FBI. In addition, it must be remembered that the totals given for sworn officers for any particular agency reflect not only the patrol officers on the street but also officers assigned to various other duties such as those in administrative and investigative positions as well as those assigned to special teams.
- Each year, law enforcement agencies across the United States report the total number of sworn law enforcement officers and civilians in their agency as of October 31 to the UCR Program.
- The UCR Program defines law enforcement officers as individuals who ordinarily carry a firearm and a badge, have full arrest powers, and are paid from government funds set aside specifically for law enforcement.
- Civilian employees include personnel such as clerks, radio dispatchers, meter attendants, stenographers, jailers, correctional officers, and mechanics provided that they are full-time employees of the agency.
- In 2005, sworn officers accounted for 69.5 percent of all law enforcement personnel. (Based on Table 74.)
- The rate of full-time law enforcement employees (civilian and sworn) per 1,000 inhabitants in the Nation for 2005 was 3.5; the rate of sworn officers was 2.4 per 1,000. (Based on Table 74.) The UCR Program computes these rates by taking the number of employees, dividing by the population of agency's jurisdiction, and multiplying by 1,000.
- Female employees accounted for 61.8 percent of all full-time civilian law enforcement employees in 2005.
- Males accounted for 88.4 percent of all full-time sworn law enforcement officers in 2005.