US Sales of Law Enforcement Equipment to Reach $1.2B in 2020

The growth in the number of armed officers and the adoption of high technology products are factors contributing to the high projection.

Sales of law enforcement and guarding equipment in the US are projected to increase 3.5 percent annually through 2020 to $1.2 billion.

Overall demand growth will be driven by the rising number of guards and law enforcement officers. Relatively rapid growth in the number of armed guards will contribute to a rising amount of equipment sales per officer, as armed guards typically utilize more and higher value products. These and other trends are presented in Law Enforcement & Guarding Equipment, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Demand will further benefit from the rising adoption of expensive, high technology products such as license plate readers, stationary cameras, body cameras, conducted electrical weapons and drones. Sales of license plate readers and stationary cameras will particularly benefit from both the growing number of agencies that utilize these products and the decision of many agencies that already utilize these products to expand their existing stock.

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Newer technologies, especially body cameras and drones, are expected to see strong increases in the number of units sold, though value demand will be limited to a degree by declining prices.

Equipment CHart

In contrast to the more technologically advanced products, sales of duty gear, body armor and riot gear, and vehicle equipment tend to be driven by replacement demand as these products either wear out or expire. Although product improvements contribute to rising prices and value demand, the high market penetration of these products often limits additional opportunities for growth. As a result, sales of these products are expected to see more limited gains through 2020. 

Demand for law enforcement and guarding equipment varies by region due to demographic differences such as population size and urban-rural distribution. Major urban areas represent a significant share of law enforcement officers employed in the US, as well as the majority of guards. As a result, the South and West—which have large populations and a larger number of urban areas—represent the largest and fastest growing regional markets. Differences in state and local legislation, which may either limit, ban, or require the use of certain products, also impact demand.

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