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America Has Fewest Cops in a Quarter Century, Data Find


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There are now fewer police officers per person in the United States than at any point in the last 25 years, recently released federal data show, after over a decade of decline.

There were roughly 214 police officers per 100,000 Americans in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll, which tracks employment across state and local governments. That represents a 1.5 percent decline from 2018 and a 9 percent drop from 2007, when police numbers last peaked.

Since that year, the number of sworn officers has declined precipitously, thanks in part to the Great Recession's effects on police budgets and in part to growing hostility to law enforcement in the years since mass protests in Ferguson, Mo. Recent events, including a wave of retirements and the cancellations of recruitment classes amid public outcry and COVID-driven budget crunches, suggest that the trend will persist through 2020.:snip:

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