New Mexico is the fifth-worst state in which to be a police officer, according to a report Tuesday by WalletHub.
In order to determine the best states to pursue a career in law enforcement, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 key indicators of police-friendliness. The data set ranges from median income for law-enforcement officers to police deaths per 1,000 officers to state and local police-protection expenses per capita.
Here's how New Mexico rated in some key categories:
Life & Work for Cops in New Mexico (1=Best; 25=Avg.)
49th – Violent-Crime Rate
37th – Percent of Homicide Cases Solved
18th – State & Local Police-Protection Expenses per capita
48th – Police Deaths per 1,000 Officers
50th – Property-Crime Rate
Here's what WalletHub said about the report:
“Because of such risks, law-enforcement agencies must offer enough incentives to attract and retain officers. So what qualities define a good place to live and work for police? To start, there’s a $62,960 mean annual wage that exceeds the $50,620 for all occupations. On top of that, there’s typically 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.
“Beyond financial perks, officers are more likely to be attracted to police departments that steer clear of scandal and corruption and that are transparent with their communities. Public opinion on police remains divided, with younger people and minorities rating them much less positively than older Caucasians. Naturally, police departments that have better relations with the areas they patrol are more attractive to new officers.”
Arkansas was the worst state in which to be a cop, and North Dakota was the best.
The news that New Mexico is a lousy plac e to be a cop probably won't help the Albuquerque Police Department, which has been chronically short of officers for years and which is trying to hire more officers.
Currently, APD has about 850 officers. Mayor Tim Keller has said that he wants the department to be up to 1,200 officers in four years.