Open main menu

Wiktionary β

Talk:law enforcement

There is a considerable tendency to use "law enforcement" as an actual plural (not just mass noun). You will hear – I suppose mostly in America – sentences like: Two law enforcement were killed during the operation. (Meaning: two law enforcement officers.) I'm not a native speaker of English, so I don't want to amend the entry, but someone capable should do so.

RFD discussion: May 2018Edit

The following information passed a request for deletion (permalink).

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


RFD sense "The various government agencies involved in the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals."

  • The usex ("The police and sheriffs are both law enforcement agencies.") belongs to the first sense, not that sense (since the word agencies is written out). So, does that second sense actually exist?
  • What about the usage mentioned on the talk page? Is "Two law enforcement were killed during the operation." grammatical? If yes, that reminds me of this recent conversation about personnel.

--Per utramque cavernam 21:43, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

  • This sense seems defensible to me. I haven't looked for any cites, but something like "Somebody erroneously sent this claim to city hall; I'm forwarding it to law enforcement", which refers to a gov't agency. --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 22:13, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Keep. Widespread long-term use. Searching for a term like "call your local law enforcement" shows thousands of hits, with only a handful showing the words like agency, department, phone number, etc following. Clearly shows law enforcement as a stand-alone term for, as described, the various agencies.--Dmol (talk) 08:38, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I've found some cites on GB with your keywords: [1], [2], [3]. I'm closing this. --Per utramque cavernam 08:46, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • RFD kept: retracted by the nominator. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:04, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
  • In addition, this is even commonly used in abbreviated form as "LE". I've seen it used thousands of times on private forums and a quick Google search also shows it being used on other websites. Alexis Jazz (talk) 20:35, 15 May 2018 (UTC)


Return to "law enforcement" page.