A target for an extra 1,000 police officers is still being met, according to the Scottish Government.
There were 17,436 full-time equivalent officers by the end of last year, up 7.4% or 1,202 since March 2007.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said additional officers are helping to reduce crime to its lowest level for 37 years.
"This Government has kept its promise to protect police posts, in direct contrast to the picture in England and Wales where police numbers have fallen to their lowest level in 11 years," he said.
"We will continue to deliver and build on our commitment to protect frontline services and keep communities safe when the new police service goes live next month."
The existing eight regional forces will become the Police Service of Scotland.
The figures are published as full-time equivalent positions which takes into account part-time staff covering the comparable workload of full-time officers.
Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said the additional officers cannot be maintained.
"We also know that hundreds of police staff positions are being lost, meaning more police officers will become backroom bobbies as they fill in those positions," he said. "Simply looking at the number of police officers doesn't tell Scots what is really happening. Having more officers sitting behind desks, doing jobs previously done by civilian staff doesn't make sense. With cuts to police numbers imminent, Kenny MacAskill's complacency is deeply concerning."
Conservative MSP John Lamont said: "Administration is important in the police force but people don't want to see frontline officers carrying it out. The Scottish Government needs to explain why hundreds more officers are unable to work at the coalface compared to only a few years ago. We need police on the streets. Simply pointing to attractive statistics when so many are on restricted duty is worthless. With the single force taking effect in less than a month, this is something that has to be addressed as a matter of urgency."