Industry Research – Law Enforcement – These Agencies Are Something Special

These Law-Enforcement Agencies Are Something Special  |

By Larry Slagel  |  senior vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a former captain in the United States Marine Corps  |

Published in the November/December 2011  issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Not all state and local law-enforcement agencies are police departments, sheriffs’ offices, or state police agencies. During 2008, more than 1,700 state and local agencies served a special geographical region or had special enforcement responsibilities, according to the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008, published in July 2011 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice. Those agencies employed about 90,000 men and women full-time – including 57,000 sworn personnel.

Universities and Colleges

More than 500 campus police departments served 4-year public universities and colleges, employing about 11,000 full-time sworn personnel. Another 253 agencies served 2-year public colleges, employing over 2,600 such personnel. The five largest agencies and their numbers of full-time sworn personnel were:

Temple University           125

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey        94

University of Texas Health Science Center            94

University of Maryland – College Park    90

University of Florida       85

Public Schools

Public school districts operated 250 police departments, employing nearly 5,000 full-time sworn personnel. Some large school systems, including those in New York and Chicago, obtained services from their city police departments, but some of the largest systems had their own departments. The largest five were:

School District of Philadelphia     450

Los Angeles Unified School District           340

Miami-Dade County Public Schools          210

Houston Independent School District     197

Palm Beach, Florida, County School District          176

Natural Resources

Nearly 15,000 full-time sworn personnel worked in jobs related to natural resources. Most of their 246 agencies enforced laws pertaining to fish and wildlife conservation, or enforced the law in parks and recreation areas. Other functions included enforcing environmental pollution laws, boating laws, and protecting forest and water resources. The largest five of those agencies were:

California Department of Parks and Recreation  645

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission           626

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department     480

Ohio Department of Natural Resources 394

California Department of Fish and Game.


Agencies tasked with safeguarding transportation systems and facilities employed about 11,500 full-time sworn personnel. There were 167 such agencies; the largest five were:

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey        1,667

New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority 694

Los Angeles World Airports         577

Maryland Transportation Authority         456

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority              442


There were also 140 criminal investigations agencies and 54 special enforcement agencies, including units responsible for alcohol/tobacco laws, agricultural laws, narcotics laws, gaming laws, and racing laws.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers