Mississippi is one of the worst states for police, study finds

WASHINGTON, DC – Considering a career in law enforcement? Mississippi is not the place, according to a new study.

Offering the lowest median income among the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 50th in opportunity for law enforcement officers, a study published by WalletHub ranks Mississippi as the fifth worst place for law enforcement officers in the United States.

Looking at 30 relevant metrics broken down into three broad categories, the study shows that Mississippi ranks 41st or lower in five of the categories and in no category does the state rank in the top five.

Across the top three categories, Mississippi ranked 50th in Opportunity & Competition, which looked at factors such as salary, revenue growth, officers employed per capita, and expected jobs in law enforcement. law by 2028.

In “Job Hazards & Protections,” the state ranked 47th after looking at metrics such as police deaths per 1,000 officers, share of law enforcement officers assaulted and violent crime rate .

Mississippi scored highest in “law enforcement training,” earning a 37th ranking after reviewing data including required training hours, certifications and continuing professional education requirements.

Among the subcategories, Mississippi ranked:

  • 51st for median law enforcement income (adjusted for cost of living)
  • 46th for law enforcement median income growth
  • 41st in percentage of solved homicide cases
  • 45th for national and local police protection spending per capita
  • 45th for police deaths per 1,000 police officers

Mississippi’s median income for law enforcement of $52,600 is well below the national median income of $66,020 and even below the national median of $53,490 for all jobs.

Illinois offered the highest salary for law enforcement, while the other four states joining Mississippi at the bottom were from the south: North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina and Arkansas .

Data for the study comes from the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central State Occupational Projections, Council for Community and Economic Research, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Urban Institute, Institute for American Police Reform, The Officer Down Memorial Page, Mapping Police Violence, Murder Accountability Project, Ballotpedia, The National 911 Program, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, National Conference of State Legislatures , National Blue Alert System, Institute of Criminal Justice Training Reform, AP News and Center for the Study of Professional Regulation.

The study can be read in its entirety here.

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