How Much Police Make in Every State

New York City police
Steve Sanchez Photos / Shutterstock.com

Protecting and serving the American public isn’t an easy job, and it can be a dangerous one.

As former President Barack Obama once put it:

“[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?

Following are the average annual and hourly wages of police and sheriff’s officers in all 50 states, along with the number of those jobs in each state. The states are ranked by their average annual wage, from lowest to highest.

The information comes from the latest occupational wage data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 2019.

We’ve also drawn on cost-of-living data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and WalletHub’s 2020 rankings of the best and worst states to be one of the nation’s 800,000 police officers.

50. Mississippi

Police car in Jackson, Mississippi
DIDIER FOTO / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 7,620
Average annual wage: $36,290
Average hourly wage: $17.45

Mississippi has the lowest pay for police in the nation, at $17.45 an hour, on average.

However, it also is the most affordable state in the nation in which to live, according to a first-quarter 2020 cost-of-living ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

49. Arkansas

Police observation tower in Little Rock, Arkansas
Reed Means / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 6,100
Average annual wage: $40,570
Average hourly wage: $19.50

Arkansas police are among the lowest paid in the nation, on average.

It helps a bit that Arkansas is one of “4 States Where Income Taxes Will Be Lower Next Year.”

According to the Tax Foundation, the state’s top tax rate on middle-income earners (total income $22,000- $79,300) has been reduced from 6% in 2019 and will be 5.9% for such taxpayers filing their 2020 taxes next year.

48. Louisiana

Police in New Orleans, Louisiana
amadeustx / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 11,420
Average annual wage: $42,470
Average hourly wage: $20.42

Louisiana police salaries are the third-lowest in the nation, on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s cost of living is the 18th lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

47. South Carolina

Police and parametics in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
StacieStauffSmith / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 10,950
Average annual wage: $43,520
Average hourly wage: $20.92

Police salaries in South Carolina are near the bottom of the stack.

The cost of living in this coastal state is No. 23, in the middle among U.S. states, for the first quarter of 2020.

46. West Virginia

Police honor guard, West Virginia
Jeff McCoy / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 3,240
Average annual wage: $44,450
Average hourly wage: $21.37

West Virginia, where police and sheriff’s officers are among the nation’s lowest-paid, has been struggling. It had one of “The 25 Slowest-Growing State Economies in America” in 2019.

It ranked poorly, too, in a report on “The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family in 2019.”

45. Georgia

Atlanta police motorcycles
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 22,140
Average annual wage: $44,700
Average hourly wage: $21.49

Violent crime in the United States has fallen dramatically since 2008, the latest FBI statistics show. Georgia’s rate of violent crime has kept pace and, in fact, since 2016 has dropped below the national average.

Georgia, however, is not among the best states to be a cop, according to WalletHub’s assessment of states on such metrics as job hazards, opportunity and quality of life, which placed the Peach State 38th.

44. Tennessee

police car in Memphis, Tennessee
photosounds / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 13,270
Average annual wage: $45,370
Average hourly wage: $21.81

Tennessee is not an easy place to be a police officer. The state’s rate of all violent crimes is substantially above that for the country as a whole, according to the FBI’s most recent data. In 2018, the state experienced 34,078 violent crime incidents.

During the pandemic shutdowns, some U.S. cities enjoyed a drop in crime, according to the Washington Post. Some saw increases in violent crime and auto theft, however, and police said closed businesses were more frequently targeted for burglaries. Nashville experienced a rise in crime, although not a dramatic one, the Post says.

43. Alabama

Police officers on motorcycles in Prattville, Alabama
JNix / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 11,410
Average annual wage: $46,510
Average hourly wage: $22.36

Alabama police incomes are near the bottom in the U.S., on average.

However, the state is the eighth-most-affordable state in which to live, according to cost-of-living rankings from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

42. Kentucky

Police dog in Richmond, Kentucky
Steven J Hensley / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 7,660
Average annual wage: $46,720
Average hourly wage: $22.46

One Kentucky state trooper’s experience illustrates the daily dangers of policing. The trooper, after pulling over a vehicle, was struck by the car and dragged, according to The Lexington Herald-Leader at Kentucky.com.

Violent crime in Kentucky generally, though, is lower than in the nation as a whole, the latest FBI data show.

41. North Carolina

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police cars in North Carolina
meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 21,750
Average annual wage: $47,340
Average hourly wage: $22.76

Pay for North Carolina police officers falls in the bottom fourth of all states. The state also is near the bottom of the pack (43rd) in WalletHub’s ranking of best states to be a law enforcement professional.

Since 2008, violent crime in North Carolina has mostly been below the national average, according to FBI data. However, the state is catching up. North Carolina’s violent crime rate rose to match the nation’s rate in 2018, the latest numbers show.

40. Oklahoma

Oklahoma Highway Patrol car
betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 7,090
Average annual wage: $48,060
Average hourly wage: $23.11

Average police salaries in Oklahoma are among the bottom 10 nationally.

However, law enforcement officers can stretch those salaries further because the Sooner State has the nation’s second-lowest cost of living, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

39. South Dakota

The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,790
Average annual wage: $49,690
Average hourly wage: $23.89

South Dakota is far from the most lucrative place to work as a police officer.

And the state’s violent crime rate, which was low in 2008, has lurched upward in the past few years, FBI numbers show. That rate now is higher than the national average. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, South Dakota experienced 2,292 incidents of violent crime.

38. Kansas

Police in Topeka, Kansas
Dave Navarro Jr / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 5,930
Average annual wage: $49,910
Average hourly wage: $24.00

Law enforcers in Kansas don’t get rich on this salary. That’s among the reasons Kansas is ranked No. 26 in WalletHub’s list of best and worst states to be a cop.

But there’s plenty of crime in the Sunflower State to keep them busy. The rate of violent crime in Kansas began shooting upward in 2014 and has surpassed the national average for violent crime each year since, the most recent FBI numbers show.

37. Missouri

Police in St. Louis, Missouri
Dave Adams Images / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 14,170
Average annual wage: $51,860
Average hourly wage: $24.93

St. Louis, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, is among the most dangerous cities in the country, according to Neighborhood Scout, which analyzed government crime statistics.

Missouri’s rate of violent crime is quite a bit higher than the nation’s overall, according to the FBI’s most recent data. The state saw 7,647 violent crime incidents in 2018.

36. Vermont

Vermont police
FashionStock.com / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,130
Average annual wage: $53,070
Average hourly wage: $25.52

Vermont has a rock-bottom low rate for violent crime compared with other states, recent FBI records show.

But the pay for police officers in the Green Mountain State isn’t great, considering that the cost of living in the state is one of the highest in the country.

35. Maine

Portland, Maine, police cars
Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 2,120
Average annual wage: $53,170
Average hourly wage: $25.56

A police officer’s pay isn’t grand in Maine and, as in nearby Vermont, the cost of living there is relatively high (No. 40 in the Missouri center’s rankings). But a police officer’s work is generally safe there in comparison with most states.

The state’s violent crime rate is very low, FBI figures show. Maine had 560 violent crime incidents in 2018. Among those were just four homicides.

34. New Mexico

police car in Santa Fe, New Mexico
meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 4,360
Average annual wage: $53,750
Average hourly wage: $25.84

New Mexico is a tough place to be a police officer. Police pay, on average, puts this state in the bottom one-third of states. That low pay does go further there, however. New Mexico’s cost of living is the fourth-lowest in the country.

Violent crime is relatively high in the state and on an upward trend since 2014. FBI data show that the state experienced 7,237 incidents of violent crime in 2018, including 70 homicides.

33. Idaho

motorcycle police in Idaho
EJMzagsfan / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 2,600
Average annual wage: $54,120
Average hourly wage: $26.02

Idaho’s ranking for average police pay is not much lower than the state’s rank for its cost of living (No. 20), around the middle of the pack.

Violent crime rates are extremely low in Idaho, FBI statistics show. The state reported 3,535 incidents of violent crime in 2018.

32. Wyoming

parade in Casper, Wyoming
Oscar C. Williams / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,150
Average annual wage: $56,120
Average hourly wage: $26.98

Wyoming doesn’t stand out as the best or worst place for police on any front. Average law enforcement wages are right in the middle among U.S. states, and the state comes in at No. 21 for its cost of living.

The state’s violent crime rate is low, according to the FBI.

31. Utah

Utah state trooper
welcomia / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 4,790
Average annual wage: $56,170
Average hourly wage: $27.00

Utah is not the best state to be a law enforcement officer, but it’s not the worst, according to WalletHub. That website’s analysis ranks the Beehive State No. 29 on its list of the best states for police to live and work.

30. Montana

Kalispell, Montana, police car
Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,750
Average annual wage: $56,710
Average hourly wage: $27.26

Montana’s cost of living is a little above average for all the states, with the Missouri center’s analysis ranking it No. 37. Likewise, pay for police there is roughly in the middle compared with other states.

Violent crime has been low there, according to FBI data. But in 2013, the state’s violent crime rate began to take off. Now, it nearly matches the national average.

29. Indiana

Indianapolis police
Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 12,550
Average annual wage: $56,780
Average hourly wage: $27.30

Indiana police salaries should stretch pretty far, considering that the state is among the more affordable places to live — coming at seventh from the lowest cost of living.

The state’s rate of violent crimes has been roughly the same as the nation’s for the last several years, the FBI data show. Indiana reported 1,874 violent crime incidents in 2018, 37 of them homicides.

28. Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia, sheriff's deputies on motorcycles
Barbara Sauder / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 18,240
Average annual wage: $58,330
Average hourly wage: $28.04

Virginia enjoys a low rate of violent crime, according to FBI data.

WalletHub ranks the state No. 37 among the best and worst states overall to be a police officer. It comes in at No. 21 on factors related to job hazards and protections.

27. Michigan

Sheriff deputies in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 16,310
Average annual wage: $58,770
Average hourly wage: $28.25

The state of Michigan has been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic. For 2020, the state has projected it will see a revenue shortfall of $3.2 billion.

What’s more, Michigan expects ongoing revenue shortfalls, in the billions of dollars, in the coming years. We report the details in “Where COVID-19 Is Hitting State Revenue Hardest.”

26. North Dakota

police in Cannon Ball, North Dakota
Eric Rosenwald / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,550
Average annual wage: $58,770
Average hourly wage: $28.26

North Dakota is the second-best state in which to be a police officer, according to WalletHub’s 2020 rankings.

The website scored states on many indicators. Among other things, the state is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and No. 3 for job hazards and protections for its law enforcement officers.

25. New Hampshire

New Hampshire state trooper car
Nick Beer / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 2,950
Average annual wage: $58,820
Average hourly wage: $28.28

New Hampshire has a low rate of violent crime compared with the national average, and its violent crime rate is falling, FBI statistics show.

In 2018, the most recent year available for FBI crime data, 2,169 violent crimes were reported in New Hampshire. Among them were 19 homicides, 522 incidents of rape and 337 robberies. The data included 1,291 incidents of aggravated assault.

24. Nebraska

Scottsbluff, Nebraska, police cars
Philip Eckerberg / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 3,370
Average annual wage: $58,860
Average hourly wage: $28.30

Police salaries in Nebraska, in the middle of the pack, go a little further thanks to the state’s relatively low cost of living.

Nebraska’s cost of living is ranked No. 17, one of the lowest among the states, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

23. Iowa

Iowa state trooper patrol car
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 5,000
Average annual wage: $59,730
Average hourly wage: $28.72

Police officers in Iowa earn more, on average, than their counterparts in many states. The cost of living is low there, too, helping stretch an officer’s average annual wage of just below $60,000.

The rate of violent crime is low in Iowa and falls well below the national rate, the FBI data show. There were 5,743 incidents of violent crime reported there in 2018.

22. Florida

Police kneel with protestors in Coral Gables, Florida
That One Photography / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 39,090
Average annual wage: $60,720
Average hourly wage: $29.19

Arrests have plummeted in Miami, data from the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic show.

Authorities in Miami arrested 61% fewer people this year from mid-April to mid-March than during that period last year, the Washington Post reports. Many cities have seen fewer police calls amid the pandemic. Also, arrests are down in part “as police joined the effort to incarcerate fewer people during the outbreak,” the Post says.

Data were gathered from 30 large and midsize cities and counties by the Police Executive Research Forum, which compared statistics from this spring amid the pandemic response with the same period in 2019.

21. Ohio

Cleveland police
Denise Kappa / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 24,790
Average annual wage: $62,880
Average hourly wage: $30.23

Ohio’s cost of living is 15th from the lowest, which means that the state’s annual average wage for law enforcement jobs stretches further than in many other states.

The state’s violent crime rate is enviably low and dropping, according to FBI data for 2018, the most recent available. That year, state law enforcement agencies responded to 27,107 violent crime incidents, of which 498 were homicides.

20. Rhode Island

Providence police officers in Rhode Island
Dan Logan / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,890
Average annual wage: $63,690
Average hourly wage: $30.62

The violent crime rate in Rhode Island, the nation’s smallest state, is much lower than the national average, FBI statistics show.

State agencies reported 16 homicides in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

19. Texas

Houston police
Melvin Parker / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 58,840
Average annual wage: $63,740
Average hourly wage: $30.65

Researchers reported lower rates of violent crime in 18 of 30 cities examined as authorities struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reports.

Houston was not among those with lower rates. It reported a nearly 12% increase in violent crime this year from mid-March to mid-April compared with the same period in 2019.

The head of the think tank that gathered the data said that, despite drops in crime reports in many of the 30 cities surveyed, entrenched patterns of gang warfare appeared unchanged. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said:

“These serious, deeply entrenched problems continue to drive much of the violence in our communities.”

18. Wisconsin

police and protestors in Madison, Wisconsin
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 11,860
Average annual wage: $63,970
Average hourly wage: $30.76

Wisconsin ranks among the top 20 states for the average salary paid to its law enforcement officers.

The state’s cost of living isn’t the highest or the lowest, however, but rather ranks in the middle (No. 24) compared with other states.

17. Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona, police car
meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 11,610
Average annual wage: $66,970
Average hourly wage: $32.20

“Arizona is looking at hard times,” we report in “Where COVID-19 Is Hitting State Revenue Hardest.” The reason: The state government expects a $1.4 billion shortfall in revenue for 2020 alone. It is among states that expect to be hit hardest by unemployment and decreased tax revenues this year.

An additional shortfall of $758 million is projected for fiscal 2021. And in fiscal 2022, the state projects another decline in revenue, of $805 million, according to the data gathered by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

16. Pennsylvania

Philadelphia police
305465255 / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 27,990
Average annual wage: $68,940
Average hourly wage: $33.14

Police salaries look comparatively good in Pennsylvania. But costs are high in the state. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center places Pennsylvania among the states where the cost of living is higher than average.

Violent crime is low in the state, though. The rate of such incidents is well below the national average, the FBI’s latest statistics show, with violent crime dropping to record lows in Pennsylvania.

15. Maryland

Baltimore police car
Kimberly Boyles / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 12,960
Average annual wage: $71,170
Average hourly wage: $34.22

Baltimore experienced an 8% drop in violent crime seen in mid-March to mid-April compared with that period last year, the Washington Post reports, citing a study of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on crime.

While reports of burglaries in Baltimore were down 36.5%, the number of homicide reports at that time rose from 20 last year to 23 this year. In Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., violent crime dropped by 24% in those early weeks of the pandemic response.

Maryland’s rate of violent crime, however, remains above the national average, according to the latest FBI data.

14. Minnesota

Minneapolis police protestors
Sam Wagner / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 9,820
Average annual wage: $71,840
Average hourly wage: $34.54

First the city of Minneapolis and then the nation and the world have been rocked by reactions and protests to the videotaped death of George Floyd, a local man, while he was handcuffed and in police custody on May 25.

Protests and demands for policing reform spread nationally and internationally. Soon after, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council announced plans to dismantle the city’s current police department to try a different approach to public safety, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“There’s no doubt that the criminal justice system is failing black communities and communities of color at disproportionate rates,” Susan Kent, the minority leader in Minnesota’s State Senate, told the newspaper.

Generally, the violent crime rate has been low in Minnesota and trending downward over the past few years, the latest FBI statistics show.

13. Massachusetts

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police in Boston
Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 17,100
Average annual wage: $72,400
Average hourly wage: $34.81

In Boston, police arrests were down considerably in the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic response. Boston police made 66% fewer arrests for serious crimes from mid-March to mid-April this year compared with the same time in 2019, the Washington Post reports.

Massachusetts is facing an extreme shortfall in revenues due to vastly increased unemployment and higher costs during the pandemic. In “Where COVID-19 Is Hitting State Revenue Hardest,” we report that the state estimates it will see revenue decline $3.8 billion to $4.5 billion for fiscal year 2020.

12. Connecticut

Police on motorcycles in Connecticut
barbsimages / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 6,330
Average annual wage: $73,270
Average hourly wage: $35.23

Connecticut’s cost of living places it among the top 10 most expensive states (including the District of Columbia) in the nation. Its cost of living ranks 44th, just a little less expensive than No. 45 Maryland.

So, while the average wage for law enforcement officers appears high, bear in the mind it is expensive to live in Connecticut.

11. Oregon

Police in Oregon
Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 5,510
Average annual wage: $73,300
Average hourly wage: $35.24

Violent crime in Oregon has been low since 2008, well below the national average, but it is slowly trending upward, the latest FBI statistics show.

In all, the most recent figures show 10,995 violent crime incidents were reported in the state in 2018. That includes 75 reported homicides, 2,143 reports of rape and 2,469 robbery reports. Oregonians reported 6,364 incidents of aggravated assault in 2018.

10. Nevada

Las Vegas police helicopter
trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 5,250
Average annual wage: $73,660
Average hourly wage: $35.41

Nevada pays one of the higher wages for police work in the country, which is a good thing since its cost of living is also in the top half among the states.

In its analysis of the best and worst states to be a police officer, WalletHub ranks Nevada in about the middle, at No. 32. It gives the state high marks, though, for its quality of life for police officers.

9. Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware, police motorcycle
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,840
Average annual wage: $73,740
Average hourly wage: $35.45

Delaware’s violent crime rate remains higher than the U.S. average, but considerable strides have been made over the past decade, FBI data show.

The state’s violent crime rate has generally been on a downward trend. The state’s rate went from some 708 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people in 2008 to 427 per 100,000 in 2018, the FBI’s reporting reveals.

8. Colorado

Police officers in masks in Denver, Colorado
Jim Lambert / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 10,100
Average annual wage: $75,720
Average hourly wage: $36.41

Eighteen cities reported less violent crime during the first weeks of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic response. Denver was not among them, the Washington Post reports. In Denver, violent crime leaped by 21% in mid-March to mid-April compared with the same period last year, according to a survey of 30 midsized and large cities and counties.

Since 2008, violent crime in Denver declined to a record low in 2013 and then shot up to a new high, above the national average in 2018 for the first time in the 10 years of data, the FBI statistics show.

7. New York

New York City police in Manhattan
Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 55,590
Average annual wage: $77,490
Average hourly wage: $37.25

Reports of violent crime fell by 25% in New York City from mid-March to mid-April compared with last year, amid the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Washington Post report. Although residential burglaries decreased in many U.S. cities, burglaries of commercial establishments rose, including a 17.5% increase in New York City, the report says.

Burglaries appeared to follow the changing patterns of occupancy during pandemic shutdowns, with fewer homes empty and more businesses vacant, the article says.

6. Illinois

Chicago police officer hugs protestor
Untitled Title / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 29,460
Average annual wage: $78,350
Average hourly wage: $37.67

The pandemic appeared to bring less demand for policing in some cities, according to a report by the Washington Post on a study of the impact on crime in 30 cities and counties around the U.S.

Police in Chicago received 25% fewer calls and authorities reported a 53% drop in arrests in the first weeks of the pandemic response, from mid-March to mid-April, compared with last year.

5. Hawaii

Honolulu police car
Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 2,500
Average annual wage: $78,720
Average hourly wage: $37.85

Salaries for Hawaii’s law enforcement officers are near the top, nationwide.

That makes sense, since the Aloha State is the most expensive place to live in the country. Hawaii continues to hold the top spot on the cost-of-living report from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

4. Washington

police in Seattle, Washington
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 9,540
Average annual wage: $80,200
Average hourly wage: $38.56

In addition to its relatively high average police salaries, the state of Washington has low crime rates, making it an attractive location for many officers to work and live.

WalletHub ranks the Evergreen State high on the category of job hazards and opportunity, but not as great on quality of life, which takes a hit from a cost of living that’s fairly high. Washington ranks just below the top 10 most expensive states in which to live.

3. New Jersey

New Jersey police honor guard
JonathanCollins / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 21,840
Average annual wage: $86,840
Average hourly wage: $41.75

The state of New Jersey has the third-highest average police salary in the country.

The state’s violent crime rate is relatively low, well below the national average, and has been mostly declining since 2008, according to FBI data.

2. Alaska

Alaska state trooper patrol car
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 1,120
Average annual wage: $87,870
Average hourly wage: $42.24

Alaska is an expensive place to make your home. That’s one reason that, despite a high average salary, WalletHub places it at No. 49 compared with other states and Washington, D.C., on its ranking of best places for police to live and work.

Alaska has relatively few law enforcement officers per capita, WalletHub finds. However, those officers have to deal with a rate of violent crime in the state that’s high, well above the national average. And that rate has been on a strong upward trend for the past several years, FBI data show.

1. California

Police officer in Oceanside, California
Simone Hogan / Shutterstock.com

Number of jobs: 72,380
Average annual wage: $105,220
Average hourly wage: $50.58

Various types of workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic earn top pay in California. In addition to having the highest average annual wage for nurses, as we recently reported in “How Much Nurses Make in Every State,” the state also has the highest average annual wage for police and sheriff’s officers.

Granted, the Golden State also has one of the highest average costs of living in the U.S., behind only Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

Researchers looking at the effect of the pandemic on crime in 30 U.S. cities and counties from mid-March to mid-April found a big impact in two California cities. In San Francisco, reports of violent crime — including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — were down 33% compared with the same period last year. In Los Angeles, reports were down nearly 25%, the Washington Post reports.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

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7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

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8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

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