Daytona Beach, FL – A new study shows that Florida ranks in the top 50% when it comes to the best states for police officers.
That’s the word from WalletHub and their study “2019’s Best & Worst States to be a Police Officer,” which ranked the Sunshine State at number 22.
According to WalletHub, law enforcement is a profession that more than 900,000 Americans hold, knowing full well the hazards that are associated with their job.
Because of those risks, agencies must offer enough incentives to attract and retain law enforcement officers.
And by law enforcement officers, they mean police officers, deputies, detectives and criminal investigators.
Those incentives range from a mean annual wage of over $63,000 on top of benefits that can include retirement-contribution matches, tuition assistance, a take-home vehicle and access to health and fitness facilities.
Beyond perks, officers are also usually more likely to be attracted to departments that stand away from scandal, corruption and those that aren’t transparent with their community.
“We’re really looking at opportunity and competition for those going into the field, job hazards and protections, and finally quality of life, like you would with any other job,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub.
Therefore, to determine which states are the best and worse in which to pursue a law enforcement career, they compared 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, among 27 key indicators of “police friendliness.”
Some of those key factors are categories such as law enforcement officers per capita, the median income growth and the median income for law enforcement officers, violent crime rates and state & local police-protection expenses per capita.
“It did the best in quality of life,” said Gonzalez. “Specifically when it comes to police protection expenses per capita.”
Florida ranked 10th in that category, which deals with how much the state and local agencies spend on their officers for protective equipment such as armor, vests and helmets.
Florida also came in 12th when it came to the median income growth for law enforcement officers, which refracts the evolution of income over time.
However, Florida actually ranked below the top 50% of states when it came to median income (adjusted for the cost of living), landing in the 33rd spot.
The state also ranked at 35th when it came to the percentage of homicide cases that have been solved.
In fact, in Volusia County alone there are 47 unsolved cold cases.
With that influx of cases, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office released a public tool that gives residents information on cold cases in hopes that they can bring new tips to light in regards to a case.
Out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, WalletHub says New York ranked the highest with a total score of 60.19. Maryland, California, New Hampshire and Indiana followed behind in the 2nd to 5th spots.
Louisiana ranked the lowest out of 51 with a score of 31.69.