See the nation's best and worst states for being a cop

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With many police departments hit hard by coronavirus and police shootings remaining a high-profile issue in the U.S., the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020's Best and Worst States to be a Police Officer.

In order to determine the best states to pursue a career in law enforcement, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key indicators of police-friendliness. The 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.

Best States for Police Officers Worst States for Police Officers
1. Connecticut 42. New Mexico
2. North Dakota 43. North Carolina
3. New York 44. Tennessee
4. New Jersey 45. South Carolina
5. Minnesota 46. Idaho
6. Maryland 47. Montana
7. District of Columbia 48. Wyoming
8. Washington 49. Alaska
9. Massachusetts 50. Louisiana
10. Illinois 51. Arkansas

Best vs. Worst

  • The District of Columbia has the most police and sheriff's patrol officers per 100,000 residents, 797.66, which is 6.1 times more than in Washington, the fewest at 130.79.
  • Illinois has the highest median annual wage for police and sheriff's patrol officers (adjusted for cost of living), $75,371, which is 1.9 times higher than in Mississippi, the lowest at $40,133.
  • Rhode Island has the fewest individuals killed by police per 1,000,000 residents, 5.68, which is 12 times fewer than in New Mexico, the most at 68.34.
  • Maine has the fewest violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 1.12, which is 8.9 times fewer than in the District of Columbia, the most at 9.96.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest state and local police-protection expenses per capita, $925.21, which is five times higher than in Kentucky, the lowest at $186.78.

To view the full report and your state's rank, please visit:

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