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Apr 1 -- The Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice invites comments by May 31, 2022 regarding the proposed 2022 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA).

BJS has conducted the CSLLEA regularly since 1992. The 2022 CSLLEA will be the eighth administration. Historically, the CSLLEA generates an enumeration of all publicly funded state, county, and local law enforcement agencies operating in the United States. The CSLLEA provides complete personnel counts and an overview of the functions performed for approximately 20,000 law enforcement agencies operating nationally. The survey asks about the level of government that operates the agency; oversight of any agency sub-components; total operating budget; full-time and part-time personnel counts for sworn, limited sworn, and non-sworn employees; sex of full-time sworn, limited sworn, and non-sworn personnel; race and Hispanic origin of full-time sworn officers; and the functions the agency performs on a regular or primary basis. Upon completion, the 2022 CSLLEA will serve as the sampling frame for future law enforcement surveys administered by BJS.

For the purposes of the CSLLEA, a “law enforcement agency” is a publically-funded government entity responsible for enforcing laws, maintaining public order, and promoting public safety. To be within scope of the CSLLEA, a law enforcement agency must employ the equivalent of at least one full-time sworn officer with general arrest powers.

The CSLLEA collects information from local police departments, sheriffs’ offices, primary state law enforcement agencies, and special jurisdiction agencies. Local police departments include municipal, county, and regional police that are granted authority from the local governing body that created it. Sheriffs’ offices are generally empowered to enforce laws at the county level, while primary state agencies provide general law enforcement services state-wide with a focus on highway and rural area enforcement. Special jurisdiction agencies provide law enforcement services in areas within a specific jurisdiction; they are usually full-service departments that have been granted law enforcement authority in tribal lands, parks, transportation assets (e.g., airports, subways), housing authorities, schools, hospitals, or government buildings.

The CSLLEA serves as the core of the law enforcement collections at BJS. The primary purpose of the CSLLEA is to provide personnel counts and the functions of all law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and receives high response rates (98-99%). The CSLLEA is the only national data collection that provides personnel counts by full-time or part-time status, sworn status, and primary job function. These data are frequently requested by practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders to compare similar law enforcement agencies and are also used in conjunction with other datasets such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

In addition to providing these key data, BJS also will use the CSLLEA as a frame for its law enforcement surveys, including the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) core and supplements, and the Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools. The data captured on the CSLLEA instrument serve to inform which agencies may or may not be included in other surveys. For example, only general purpose agencies are on the frame for LEMAS surveys. Additionally, data from the CSLLEA will allow BJS to identify law enforcement agencies that serve school districts and those that have personnel that provide school safety, the two agency requirements for SLEPS. Using CSLLEA as a frame for these and other surveys means BJS does not have to burden agencies later to determine if they are in scope.

CSLLEA webpage: https://bjs.ojp.gov/data-collection/census-state-and-local-law-enforcement-agencies-csllea [Note: The last CSLLEA for which publications are available was conducted in 2008. The 2014 CSLLEA had data collection programs and so was not published. The 2018 CSLLEA data will be released in May 2022.]
Draft 2022 CSLLEA survey form: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5tp3s9sx2mwgpfk/2022%20CSLLEA%20Draft%20Instrument_4-1-2022.pdf?dl=0
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-06920

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