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Number of police officers in U.S. reaches 25-year low, fed report

There were roughly 214 police officers per 100,000 Americans in 2019, according Census data.

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New York City police
A New York City police officer on duty at June 14 protests in Manhattan
(Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)
Updated: October 15, 2020 - 9:19am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The number of police officers in the U.S. has reached a 25-year low, according to recently released federal data. 

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. 

The number represents a 1.5 percent decline from 2018 and a 9 percent decrease from 2007, when police numbers last peaked, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The decline is being attributed to the cuts in police budgets and an anti-police sentiment in the country that appeared to accelerate after Michael Brown was killed in an August 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking protests.

Public concerns about police reignited in May when George Floyd, a black male, died while in the custody of Minneapolis police, resulting in calls to defund police departments and more protests.