2021’s Best & Worst States for Police Officers


Diana Polk from Wallethub shared the following study regarding the best and worst states for police officers and the findings are striking.

With police still enforcing some COVID-19 restrictions and former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial coming to a landmark conclusion, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States to Be a Police Officer, as well as accompanying videos.

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 30 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. California 42. Alabama
2. Connecticut 43. South Carolina
3. Maryland 44. Mississippi
4. District of Columbia 45. Arkansas
5. Ohio 46. Alaska
6. Illinois 47. West Virginia
7. Colorado 48. Louisiana
8. Washington 49. Kentucky
9. Georgia 50. Nevada
10. Minnesota 51. Hawaii

Best vs. Worst

  • The District of Columbia has the most police and sheriff’s patrol officers per 100,000 residents, 793, which is 6.5 times more than in Washington, the fewest at 123.
  • California has the highest median annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers (adjusted for cost of living), $81,902, which is two times higher than in Mississippi, the lowest at $41,789.
  • Rhode Island has the fewest individuals killed by police per 1,000,000 residents, 4, which is 13.3 times fewer than in Alaska, the most at 53.
  • Maine has the fewest violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 1.15, which is 9.1 times fewer than in the District of Columbia, the most at 10.49.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest state and local police-protection expenses per capita, $906.37, which is 4.6 times higher than in Kentucky, the lowest at $195.12.

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

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Feel free to embed this YouTube video summarizing the study on your website. You can also use or edit these raw files as you see fit. Full data sets for specific states and the District are also available upon request.

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