Study: These are the best states to be a cop in the U.S.

New data ranks the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by “police-friendliness”

By Suzie Ziegler 

WASHINGTON — Maybe Hawaii isn’t paradise after all – at least not if you’re a police officer. That’s according to new data published this month that sought to reveal which states are best for law enforcement careers.  

To find out, WalletHub researchers compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., across 30 factors of “police-friendliness.” Those factors included median income, police deaths per 1,000 officers and local police-protection expenses per capita. Each state was then ranked from “friendliest” to least police-friendly by a composite score. 

According to the data, these are the top five police-friendly states: 

  1. California 
  2. Connecticut 
  3. Maryland 
  4. District of Columbia 
  5. Ohio 

The lowest-ranked states were West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky and Nevada, with Hawaii in last place. 

The data also revealed other interesting results: 

  • Want to be a hotshot homicide detective? Look to North Dakota, South Dakota, Maine, Idaho and Alaska. Those states – which notably have lower population densities – boast the highest percentage of solved homicides. 

  • If you want a bigger agency, check out the five places with the most cops per capita: District of Columbia, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey and Texas. 

  • And if you’re looking for a pay bump, consider Illinois, Alaska, New Jersey, California and Washington. Those states have the highest median income for police officers after adjusting for the cost of living. 

See WalletHub’s complete findings here.

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