2022's Best & Worst States to Be a Police Officer
Wallet Hub, May 9, 2022
Law enforcement is a career that is always in the public eye, whether for heroic reasons or scandal. Currently, our nation’s 800,000 law enforcement officers have even more of a spotlight than usual, though. To start, for the past two years they have been in charge of enforcing COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, there have been quite a few recent high-profile police brutality cases, including officers found guilty for federal civil rights violations leading up to the death of George Floyd. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech also called for the nation to “fund the police” with better training and resources.
Even when the U.S. isn’t in the middle of a pandemic, being a police officer is significantly more dangerous than many other occupations. Because of such risks, law-enforcement agencies must offer enough incentives to attract and retain officers. To start, there’s a $66,020 mean annual wage and typically a generous benefits package which can include retirement-contribution matches, tuition assistance, ample leave time, a take-home vehicle, and access to health and fitness facilities.
How well officers are compensated varies from place to place, though, as does the quality of their work environment. Officers are more likely to be attracted to police departments that steer clear of scandal and corruption and that are transparent with their communities.
In order to determine the best states in which to pursue a law-enforcement career, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 30 key indicators of police-friendliness. Their data set ranges from the median income for law-enforcement officers to police deaths per 1,000 officers to state and local police-protection expenses per capita….
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