Sheriff's Deputies Versus Police Officers in the South: Examining Their Effects on Crime

Brion Sever, Monmouth University

Over the past two decades, there has been no shortage of studies focusing on the relationship between police force size and the crime rate. Indeed, such studies have been performed on a number of different units of analyses, including states, cities, counties, suburbs and neighborhoods. Moreover, researchers studying this area have disaggregated the measure of police force size into sworn officers, civilian officers, patrol officers, and so on. One idea that has been neglected, however, is the possibility that different types of law enforcement agencies may have different impacts on the crime rate. The present study will examine if county crime rates are influenced by the different percentages of police and sheriff's deputies across counties. The study will examine 140 counties in the South, and will focus only on the impact of the patrol officers of both agencies. Policy implications of the study will also be discussed.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006