As much as we would like to see top-notch police programs in every city and town in the United States, the reality is that the playing field is far from equal. Wallethub recently compared the conditions in all 50 states and ranked them according to 30 different factors, ranging from opportunity and compensation to training programs to job hazards and protections.
It’s worth noting that on a 100-point scale, no state scored above 65, which means that there’s still a lot of work to be done across the country to improve working conditions for police and restore respect for them in the community. With that in mind, here are the states that ranked in the top 5 according to Wallethub’s research:
California ranked in the top five in two of Wallethub’s metrics, opportunity & competition and job hazards & protections. It has the fourth-highest median income for law enforcement officers and the fourth-highest expenditure for police protection per capita.
Connecticut ranked first in the nation for law enforcement training requirements, which was enough to put it at number two in the country overall. The state also has the third-lowest violent crime rate in the U.S., making it a relatively safe environment for police and other law enforcement officers.
Maryland comes in just behind California when it comes to officer opportunity and job hazards and protections. It will be interesting to see how these numbers hold up as the sweeping police reform legislation passed in April begins to roll out across the state. Among the changes were repealing the state’s Bill of Rights for law enforcement, limiting officer use of force, and eliminating no-knock warrants.
4. District of Columbia
If you count Washington, D.C. as a state, then it has the highest number of law enforcement officers per capita and the highest amount of spending on police expenses per capita. This is not surprising given the amount of law enforcement needed to protect the White House, Capitol, and other government buildings. Officers can enjoy family-friendly living in the Maryland or Virginia suburbs and commute to the district for work.
The Buckeye State had the third-largest income growth for police officers in the country from 2019 to 2020, which was enough to secure the number five spot on Wallethub’s list. High income growth indicates a strong police union presence and a culture of respect for law enforcement that recognizes the importance of compensating officers appropriately for keeping our communities safe.
Spotlight on Illinois
Despite the many problems that Illinois faces when it comes to violence and lack of respect for police, it’s worth noting that the state ranked number 6 on the list. Police officers there make the most of any in the country and it’s ranked eighth for police protection expenditures.
With your support of our efforts like the Police Issues Action Center of Illinois, the state can climb even higher on next year’s list.
Finally, it’s important to note that any of the states on this list can quickly lose their spots at the top if disrespect for police doesn’t stop or more damaging police reform bills are passed by anti-police local and state elected officials. Sign our petition to show your support restoring respect for police and making sure that doesn’t happen.
Image Credit: Photo by Todd Kent on Unsplash
More Than 250 Police Officers Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in 2020… According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 264 federal, state, military, tribal, and local law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2020 — an increase of 96% from 2019 and the highest number since 1974.