U.S. States With The Most Police And Law Enforcement Personnel

Large numbers of people require more protection, and thus some of the most populous states also have the largest police forces.

Although large volumes of studies have been undertaken to examine the employment trends in corporate entities, fewer studies have been undertaken to learn of similar trends in government agencies. Although the inherent nature of employment and work conditions are different within private corporations and governments, qualified individuals with respectable credentials can fit in either place. It is obvious that terms of government work conditions tend to be made on more of a long-term basis, although it is also not automatic that all government employees will work therein until retirement. However, the general condition among government workers in the U.S. is for them to work as a full-time civil servant. Within the U.S.A., we see different states having starkly contrasting numbers of publicly-employed personnel working on a full-time basis.

This is dependent upon a number of different factors, such as population size and crime rate among many others. Law enforcement is no exception, as you will see in our analysis of the Ten States with the Highest Numbers of Full-Time Law Enforcement Employees. From the statistics presented herein, there are indications that in most of these cases, the higher the population of a given state, the higher the number of full-time legal enforcement officers in a given state. However, it is also noteworthy that this trend does not always hold. For instance, whereas Florida has a higher population than Texas, the two states have almost an equal number of full-time legal enforcement officers. Similar trends are observable between Illinois and Georgia, states with a significant population disparity, but with almost equal numbers of full-time law enforcement officers nonetheless. Research points out that, although population size is not directly proportional to the rate of crimes, in most instances, large populations require larger numbers of legal officers to ensure full security provisions. However, in some states with lower population sizes, they may still have higher rates of crime, which translates to larger needs for legal enforcement officers. Therefore, it is significant to note that there are various factors that contribute to the size legal enforcement officers within any state.


Lastly, at position ten is Tennessee, with its full-time law enforcement officers totaling 26,709. Of these, there are 16,773 officially recognizable officers, 9,935 civilian officers and 454 security agencies. Within the officially recognizable category, there are 15,211 males and 1,562 females. In the civilian category, there are 4,584 males and 5,351 females. The population of Tennessee is approximately 6.54 million people. Among the factors contributing to high numbers of legal officers is its high crime rate, despite a relatively lower population than many others on our list. Tennessee had more than 550 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including 328 total murders. The poverty rate stands at 17.5%, a factor that may also correlate highly to the occurrence of crime in the state. The overall economic capacity of the state is sufficient to support this high number, as Tennessee legal officers are among the most well-paid in the U.S.


Georgia follows at position nine, with full-time law enforcement employees totaling 26,853. This number is comprised by 19,881 officially recognizable officers in sworn-in capacities, 6,969 civilian personnel and 413 agencies. Those in official sworn personnel include 16,711 males and 3,170 females. Civilian officers include 2,283 male officers while, 4,689 officers are female. The total population of Georgia amounts to approximately 7.9 million people. The complexity of Georgia makes it highly uncontrollable. A majority of Georgia residents have a low median income, a factor that would contribute to crime and hence attention of legal services. The poverty index stands at 8.6%, a majority of whom may be involved in crime.


At position eight is the state of Pennsylvania, with a total full-time workforce of 29,408 employees. Out of these, there are 24,611 officially recognizable officers, with 4,717 civilian officers and 996 security agencies. The gender distributions of full-time employees in this state include 22,089 male sworn-in personnel officers and 2,522 sworn-in personnel female officers. Among the civilian officers, there are 1,879 male officers and 2,918 female officers. The total population of Pennsylvania is approximately 9.4 million people. Pennsylvania was recorded as one of the states with the largest numbers of highway patrol officers. The rates of highway legal offenders and attrition are alarmingly high. The high numbers of people in this state also contributes to increased needs for security and legal services.


At position-seven is the state of Illinois, with full-time working employees totaling 34,425. These comprise of 24,358 in in sworn-in capacities, 10,067 civilian full-time employees, and 284 other security agencies working on a full-time basis in enforcing the law. In the official and uninformed employees, the gender figures indicate that there are 20,092 males with 4,266 females while the civilian full-time employees comprise of 5,443 males and 4,624 females. The total population of this region is approximately 7.4 million people. Although voted as among the top states to live in the US, the state presents opportunities that demand increased legal attention. Illinois is among the economic harbors of America, hosting many businesses including some of the largest companies in the world. As such, social interactive activities are high and consequently, these increase the risk of crime commitment. The overall education level of the state indicates that poverty, education, and crime are closely tied together.

North Carolina

Number 6 is North Carolina, with 34,540 full-time law enforcement employees. This number represents 23,980 officially recognizable officers in sworn-in capacities, with 10,550 civilian officers and 522 agents. The gender disparity in this state is 21,230 males with 2,750 females in the unformed full-time officers, 4,949 males, and 5,591 males in the civilian full-time employee category. North Carolina has a population of approximately 9.9 million people. Reports on crime in North Carolina indicated that the states was among the top in crime rates, with approximately 500 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The poverty index of the State stood at 9.2 in 2013, a reason that would lead to high rate of contribution to disturbance. When people are in poverty, they are most likely to be subjected to economic pressure and yield in to crime such as stealing, robbery and shoplifting.

New Jersey

Next comes New York’s next door neighbor, New Jersey, with its 38,778 full-time law enforcement employees. This number includes 29,666 officially recognizable officers in sworn-in capacities, 9,110 civilian officers, and 536 law enforcement agencies. The gender distribution of males to females is 26,976 males to 2,692 females in the officially recognizable officers, and 3,567 males to 5,567 females among the civilian full-time law enforcement employees. New Jersey has a population of approximately 8.6 million people.

Big Texas’s Big Police Force

Number 4 is Texas, with 60,714 full-time officers. This number is constituted by more than 38,000 recognizable officers in sworn personnel, 21,544 civilian officers, and 763 security agencies. The gender distribution includes 33,986 males and 4,526 females among those in sworn personnel and 9,404 males and 12,140 females among the civilian full-time law enforcement employees. From a historical perspective, Texas is famous for its ranch and farming cultures, together with the high levels of gun ownership. Given these factors, Texas then attracts the attention of legal enforcement. A report published by the federal government in 2013 showed that gun misuse and instances of crime arose out of the high population levels in the state, coupled with often unrestricted gun usage.

Sunshine State, Blue Light State

Florida places third, with 60,714 full-time law enforcement officers, with 36,055 being sworn-in personnel officers, 24,660 being civilians, and the state works with 294 law enforcement agencies. Among the sworn-in personnel officers, 30,832 are male officers and 5,222 are female officers. In the civilian category, 9,061 are male while 15,599 are female. From an economic perspective, Florida is famous for its business and beach entertainment cultures, together with its high levels of gun owner presence. Given these factors, Florida then attracts increased legal attention, and thus needs increased enforcement carried out by a high number of officers. A report published by the federal government in 2013 showed that crime rates and instances have increased among visiting populations, such as tourists, increasing the requirement for high numbers of legal employees in the state.

The Empire State Ranks Second

New York comes in as the state with the second largest number of full-time law enforcement officers, with a total full-time workforce of 78,535 officers. Out of this number, the number of recognizable officers sworn in is approximately 58,000, including 8,000 females and roughly 50,000 males. The total civilian number of employees stands at approximately 20,165, including 7,197 males and 12,968 females. The state also possesses 348 full-time law enforcement agencies. New York State, being one of the most populous states in the U.S., is also home to some of the most challenging civil environments to live in in the country. The economic capacity of New York is huge, and as such it is able to support its legal officers with excellent pay. Also, given the high income level of many of its residents, targeting of these residents by criminal is logical. Crime rates in New York City and neighboring towns call for keen legal intervention, and that need is met with the high numbers of law enforcement employees. Additionally, New York City is the central business zone of America, with high investment rates, employment rate, higher rates of street and homeless populations and high rates of crime in America. All of these contribute to such high numbers

California: The Largest Statewide Police Force

The state with the absolute highest number of full-time employees is California. This should come as no surprise, as the state of California has a total population of 33,283,385 people, the largest among the states. Although this should be considered as the primary factor for the state leading the way with the highest number of full-time law enforcement employees, it provides a limited explanation as to why. California has 118,491 full-time law enforcement employees, a large percentage being regular police officers. This number is comprised by the total number of recognizable officers under oath as government personnel, as well as law enforcement within civilians and collaborative agencies. This is because California is one of the states with the highest socioeconomic implications of progress. As such, large and frequent business investments are conducted in the state on a regular basis. As a result, the high levels of economic activity going on here leads to more high-income target rates being place on the radars of criminal offenders. The total number of recognizable officers in California is 77,200. Among these, there are 67,124 male officers, while the remaining 10,066 are female officers. The other category of officers includes those in civilian gear, and these are not as easily recognizable. Among the unrecognizable officers in civilian, the total number of civilian full-time law enforcement officers in California is 41,301. This number includes 15,230 male civilian agents, while such numbers for females stand at 26,071. In contrast to the trends among the regular police force, this category has a higher female employment than male. Lastly, there are 467 agencies working with the California State government on a full-time basis in enforcing the law, and their respective full-time employees are classified and counted among the total number of law enforcement employees.

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