Industry Research Guide – Law Enforcement and Security

By Rick Jones | vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a former master gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps  |

Published in the November/December 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

The Occupational Outlook Handbook,2012-2013 Edition, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a part of the United States Department of Labor, has chapters on Protective Service Occupations. Each chapter covers the nature of the work, the work environment, qualifications, pay, job outlook, similar occupations, and contacts for more information. The chapters include:






Chapters on Community and Social Service Occupations include:


The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice, publishes the following documents:

(1)  Local Police Departments, 2007 – 42 pages, published in December 2010:

This document presents data from the 2007 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Services (LEMAS) survey, an operation of the BJS. Data include national estimates on staffing levels, operating costs, race and gender of officers, officer salaries and special pay, screening methods used in the officer selection process, and training requirements for new officer recruits. The report also examines the types of weapons authorized, use of in-car video cameras and computers, community policing efforts, task force participation, and emergency preparedness activities


(2)  Sheriffs’ Offices, 2003 – 41 pages, published in May 2006:

Presents data from a representative sample of the more than 3,000 sheriffs’ offices nationwide. Chapters include: personnel, budget and pay, operations, community policing, policies and procedures, equipment, and computers and information systems.

(3)  Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 – 18 pages, published in June 2012

Presents data from 73 federal law-enforcement agencies that employed full-time officers with authority to make arrests and to carry a firearm while on duty.

(4)  Campus Law Enforcement, 2004-05 – 19 pages, published in February 2008

Presents findings from a BJS survey of campus law-enforcement agencies serving 4-year colleges and universities with 2,500 or more students.

(5)  State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2006 – 15 pages, published in February 2009

At the end of 2006, 648 state and local law-enforcement agencies were providing basic training to entry-level recruits. The report describes the academies’ personnel, expenditures, facilities, curricula, and trainees.

(6)  Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009 – 14 pages, published in August 2012

Presents data on the 411 state, municipal, county, and federal crime laboratories operating in the United States. In 2009, those labs received 1.4 million requests for forensic services. Of those, 34 percent were for the screening or DNA analysis of biological evidence, 33 percent for controlled substance analysis, and 15 percent for toxicology.

(7) Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008 – 20 pages, published in July 2011

The government conducts this census every four years; it covers about 18,000 agencies. In September 2008, those agencies employed more than 1.1 million full-time personnel, including about 765,000 sworn personnel. They also employed 100,000 part-time personnel, including 44,000 sworn officers.

(8)  Probation and Parole in the United States, 2010 – 52 pages, published in November 2011

At the end of 2010, 4,887,900 adult offenders were under community supervision, 4,055,500 were on probation, and 840,700 were on parole.

A non-government website, “The Official Directory of State Patrol & State Police” ( contains links to the official sites of all such agencies.

Many police academies have produced videos on academy life. Links to videos on the Virginia State Police Video Channel on YouTube are on:

A link to “The Academy Challenge 2011,” a video of the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, is on:

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers