The composition of law enforcement officers in the United States depends, in part, on who starts and completes basic academy training. In 2018, 19% of recruits who started and 18% of recruits who completed basic training were female.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics periodically collects such data through the Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA). Last administered in 2018, the CLETA gathers information on recruits, staff, training curricula, equipment, and facilities from training academies that are responsible for administering mandatory basic training to newly appointed or elected law enforcement officers. These academies are operated by state, county, and municipal agencies and by universities, colleges, and technical schools.
- Females accounted for the highest percentage of recruits who completed basic training in Montana (34.3%), Idaho (28.3%), California (23.3%), and Oklahoma (23.2%).
- Less than 10% of recruits who completed basic training were female in five states: Utah (9.6%), Wyoming (9.0%), Kentucky (9%), Delaware (8.3%), and West Virginia (6.3%).
- Academies operated by state police or highway patrols had the lowest percentage of starting recruits who were female (11%).
- One in 5 recruits who completed basic training at academies operated by county police (21%), by 2-year colleges (21%), and by technical schools (20%) were female.
- The completion ratio of female recruits (the number who completed basic training divided by the number who started) was highest at academies operated by other state agencies (94%) and lowest at academies operated by state police or highway patrols (70%).
- The completion ratio was highest (86%) for female recruits at academies that operated under a more nonstress than stress model and was lowest for female recruits at academies using a more stress than nonstress training model (78%).