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Protecting and serving the American public isn’t an easy job, and it can be a dangerous one.
As President Barack Obama put it in 2016: “[W]e tell the police, ‘You’re a social worker; you’re the parent; you’re the teacher; you’re the drug counselor.’ We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind.”
So how much do the police make for keeping the peace? Wages range from $16 to $45 an hour depending on the state.
Here’s the mean annual salary and hourly wage, from lowest to highest, in all 50 states, along with the number of police jobs in each state.