CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Being a police officer is one of the most dangerous occupations, and, due to their involvement in the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions as well as heightened public scrutiny of police brutality incidents, police have been put under the spotlight now more than ever before.
Combine the high risk with the increased public criticism, and it becomes harder and harder for law enforcement entities to hire and retain officers. Law enforcement agencies must offer attractive wages and benefits to help recruit new officers and keep their veterans.
In a study by WalletHub, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia were compared across 30 key indicators of “police-friendliness.” These indicators included median income, police deaths per 1,000 officers, and state and local police protection expenses per capita.
The three main categories by which states were evaluated are:
- Opportunity & Competition
- Law Enforcement Training Requirements
- Job Hazards & Protections
The top five “best” states to be a cop are:
- District of Columbia
And the five “worst” states to be a cop are:
- West Virginia
Kentucky and West Virginia have the lowest and second-lowest state and local police-protection expenses per capita. The District of Columbia and Alaska have the highest.
Despite being ranked the fifth-best state overall for police officers, Ohio still has the third-lowest percentage of homicide cases solved. Both North and South Dakota have the highest.
To see the full rankings, you can visit the study here.