WASHINGTON (Circa) - Being a police officer isn't an easy job, but new research indicates that its better to be a cop in certain areas than others. WalletHub recently released a report on the best and worst states to be an officer.
The list compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia using '25 key indicators of police-friendliness.' Those indicators include median income, police deaths ratios, opportunity and competition, job hazards and protections, and quality of life.
It turns out the top state for cops is North Dakota. The Peace Garden State ranked first in quality of life for officers, fifth in job hazards and protections, and ninth in opportunity and competition. Officers in North Dakota also rank first when it comes to the percentages of homicide cases solved.
New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, and California round out the top five. Comparatively, the worst states for police officers are New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
The study also compared some the better states and some of the worst ones. For example, Washington D.C., has the most police and sheriff’s patrol officers per 100,000 residents and has 6.2 times more than Oregon, who has the fewest.
Illinois has the highest median annual wage for officers, paying them $82,233, which is 2.2 times higher than in Hawaii, the lowest at $37,419.
Maine is the least violent state in America, which only has 1.24 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. That 9.7 times fewer than D.C., which has more 12 violent crimes during the same rate.
Experts believe improving communication between officers and their communities can make all of them more friendly.
"It's critically-important that law enforcement continues to pursue more consistent outreach efforts to educate and engage the public on the policing issues of public concern," said James Palmer, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. "Law enforcement agencies that are not afraid to engage the public, especially communities of color, will fare better in attracting candidates from the those communities."