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The Best States to be a Police Officer - See Where MA Ranks

Monday, May 15, 2017


Is Massachusetts a good state to be a police officer? 

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Massachusetts ranks as the 19th best state in the U.S. to be a police officer. 

“What qualities define a good place to live and work for those donning their blue uniforms? Besides a $61,600 mean annual wage that exceeds the $49,630 for all occupations, a generous benefits package can include retirement-contribution matches, tuition assistance, ample leave time, a take-home vehicle, and access to health and fitness facilities. Officers also may begin drawing full retirement benefits as early as age 40, depending on when they entered the force,” said WalletHub.

MA's Rankings: 

  • 17th - Opportunity & competition 
  • 9th - Job hazards & protections
  • 41st -  Quality of life 
  • 48th - Lowest % of homicide cases solved 
  • 50th - Lowest housing affordability 


The Rankings 

Massachusetts ranks behind Indiana and Hawaii, who rank 17th and 18th respectively. Massachusetts ranks ahead of Florida and California, who rank 20th and 21st respectively. 

North Dakota is ranked as the best state in the country to be a police officer, while Louisiana is ranked as the worst state. 

See the full rankings in the map below 

Source: WalletHub

The Method 

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Opportunity & Competition, 2) Job Hazards & Protections and 3) Quality of Life.

They evaluated those dimensions using 20 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for police officers.

WalletHub then calculated the total score for each state and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.

Opportunity & Competition – Total Points: 40

  • Law-Enforcement Officers per Capita: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Average Starting Salary of Police Officers: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Median Income for Law-Enforcement Officers: Full Weight (~6.67 Points) 
  • Median Income Growth for Law-Enforcement Officers (2016 vs. 2015): Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Salary Growth Potential of Law-Enforcement Officers: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Projected Number of Law-Enforcement Officers per Capita by 2024: Full Weight (~6.67 Points)


Job Hazards & Protections – Total Points: 40

  • Police-Misconduct Confidentiality Law: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Police Body-Worn Camera Legislation: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Degree of Lethal Force Allowed for Police Use: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Police Deaths per 1,000 Officers: Quadruple Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Persons Killed by Police per Capita: Quadruple Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Property-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Road Safety: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Share of Homicide Cases Solved: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • 9-1-1 Calls Delivered to Local & Regional Answering Points per Capita: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)


Quality of Life – Total Points: 20

  • State & Local Police-Protection Expenses per Capita: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Family- & Singles-Friendliness: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
  • Public Image of Law Enforcement: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)

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