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Police Departments, Arrests and Crime in the United States, 1860-1920

Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data, and administrative records data
  • Monkkonen, Eric
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Free Keywords
arrests; census data; crime; criminal justice system; police activity; police chiefs; United States
  • Abstract

    These data on 19th- and early 20th-century police department and arrest behavior were collected between 1975 and 1978 for a study of police and crime in the United States. Raw and aggregated time-series data are presented in Parts 1 and 3 on 23 American cities for most years during the period 1860-1920. The data were drawn from annual reports of police departments found in the Library of Congress or in newspapers and legislative reports located elsewhere. Variables in Part 1, for which the city is the unit of analysis, include arrests for drunkenness, conditional offenses and homicides, persons dismissed or held, police personnel, and population. Part 3 aggregates the data by year and reports some of these variables on a per capita basis, using a linear interpolation from the last decennial census to estimate population. Part 2 contains data for 267 United States cities for the period 1880-1890 and was generated from the 1880 federal census volume, REPORT ON THE DEFECTIVE, DEPENDENT, AND DELINQUENT CLASSES, published in 1888, and from the 1890 federal census volume, SOCIAL STATISTICS OF CITIES. Information includes police personnel and expenditures, arrests, persons held overnight, trains entering town, and population.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Raw Data for 23 U.S. Cities, 1860-1920
    • DS2: U.S. Cities Data, 1880-1890
    • DS3: Aggregated U.S. Cities, 1860-1920
    • DS5: SAS Data Definition Statements for Raw Data
    • DS6: SAS Data Definition Statements for U.S. Cities Data
    • DS7: SAS Data Definition Statements for Aggregated Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1860 / 1920
    Time period: 1860--1920
  • 1975 / 1978
    Collection date: 1975--1978
2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 4 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 4 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7708 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07708.v1
  • Kenny, Daniel A.. Seizing Domestic Tranquility: National Military Intervention in America, 1866-1940. Dissertation, Brandeis University. 2010.
  • Mares, Dennis M.. Civilization, economic change, and trends in interpersonal violence in western societies. Theoretical Criminology.13, (4), 419-449.2009.
    • ID: 10.1177/1362480609340401 (DOI)
  • Mares, Dennis M.. Civilization, Economic Change, and Trends in Interpersonal Violence. Dissertation, University of Missouri - St. Louis. 2004.
  • Monkkonen, Eric. Toward a Dynamic Theory of Crime and the Police: A Criminal Justice System Perspective. Historical Methods Newsletter.10, (4), 157-165.1977.
    • ID: 10.1080/00182494.1977.10114507 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Monkkonen, Eric (1984): Police Departments, Arrests and Crime in the United States, 1860-1920. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.