HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are more than 800,000 law enforcement officers in the nation, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEMM). Since the first recorded police death in 1786, the nonprofit said there have been more than 23,000 officers killed in the line of duty.
According to preliminary data, 458 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2021, marking a 55% increase from the same period the year before. The report said this was the highest total line-of-duty officer deaths since 1930. This year, there have been 91 officer fatalities between Jan. 1 and May 9.
The statistics show that being a police officer remains a dangerous occupation. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted staffing shortages across every job field, and police departments are no exception. Law enforcement agencies must offer enough incentives to attract and retain officers, which include compensation, quality of work environment, among other factors.
WalletHub published a new study to determine the best states to pursue a career in law enforcement by comparing 30 key indicators of “police-friendliness.” WalletHub’s data set ranges from the median income to police deaths per 1,000 officers to state and local police-protection expenses per capita.
Best States to Be a Cop
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score||Opportunity & Competition||Law Enforcement Training Requirements||Job Hazards & Protections|
|4||District of Columbia||56.66||1||3||49|
Hawaii comes second to last on the list and is among the states with the lowest median income growth for law enforcement officers.
* Note: Law enforcement officers include police and sheriff officers, detectives and criminal investigators.
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Data used to create this ranking were collected from U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, FBI, Projections Central State Occupational Projections, Council for Community and Economic Research, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Urban Institute, Institute for American Police Reform, The Officer Down Memorial Page, Mapping Police Violence, Murder Accountability Project, Ballotpedia, The National 911 Program, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Blue Alert System, Institute of Criminal Justice Training Reform, AP News and the Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation.