2022’s Best & Worst States for Police Officers – WalletHub Study

With President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address calling for the nation to “fund the police” with better training and resources, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best & Worst States to Be a Police Officer, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

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

Best vs. Worst

  • The District of Columbia has the most police and sheriff’s patrol officers per 100,000 residents, 776, which is 6.7 times more than in Washington, the fewest at 115.
  • Washington has the highest median annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers (adjusted for cost of living), $85,244, which is two times higher than in Mississippi, the lowest at $42,207.
  • Rhode Island has the fewest individuals killed by police per 1,000,000 residents, 6, which is 10.8 times fewer than in New Mexico, the most at 65.
  • Maine has the fewest violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 1.09, which is 9.2 times fewer than in the District of Columbia, the most at 10.00.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest state and local police-protection expenses per capita, $936.17, which is 5.1 times higher than in Kentucky, the lowest at $183.97.