Police officers put themselves in harm’s way, repeatedly, over the entire length of their careers. It’s the nature of the job. A typical day can include serving and protecting the public, dealing with civil unrest, and even having to face man-made and natural disasters. Most police officers prefer to live in a city that minimizes their personal risk of injury in the line of duty, that pays a good wage, and where the typical officer’s workload is reasonable.

Analysts at Safety.com have studied nearly 300 cities and regions across the nation to find the top 20 cities for police officers in 2019.

Contents

Top 20 Cities to be a Police Officer
Top Cities by Category
Top Cities by Population Group
Methodology
Conclusion
Complete List of Top Cities
Sources

Key Takeaways

The coast of the United States accounts for less than 10 percent of the country’s land mass, yet it is home to nearly 40 percent of the population, some 55.8 million people. [28] With a few exceptions, coastal or near-coastal regions offer police the best career opportunities. For those not interested in living near the coast, three regions offer favorable alternatives: Gettysburg, PA; Lake County, IL, Kenosha County, WI; and Elgin, IL.

The region that includes San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, CA ranks #1 on the wage scale for police officers. Gettysburg, PA, one of the smallest towns, ranks as the lowest for property crimes, while Suffolk and Nassau counties (Long Island) have the lowest ranking for violent crimes and the lowest typical workload per officer among the top 20 cities.

The Top 20 Cities to be a Police Officer

1. Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY

Heading east out of Brooklyn and Queens, you’ll find yourself in Nassau County and Long Island, New York. Suffolk County covers the remainder of Long Island. With notable exceptions that include the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Hauppauge Industrial Park — the largest industrial park on the East Coast with more than 1300 companies and 71,000 workers [1] — these two counties are largely suburban and residential in nature. They’re densely populated with some 2.86 million people. The city of Sagaponack, zip code 11962, is the priciest zip code in the U.S. The average home sale price runs at around $8.5 million. [3]

Our analysis shows that police officer workloads are reasonable and the incidence of violent crime is low compared to most other parts of the nation.

  • Score: 8.56
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Violent Crime & Typical Workload

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Deep in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are home to many of America’s best-known technology companies. Median household income across all industries is more than $110,000, which is 80 percent greater than the national average. Professional, scientific, technology and manufacturing represent the biggest industries with total employment in the region just over 1 million people. [4]

Police officers will enjoy working in this tri-city area because wages are proportionately higher, everyday workloads are quite manageable, and the incidence of violent crime is lower than many other areas.

  • Score: 8.44
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

3. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

Just north of Los Angeles, Ventura County is home to Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura, which claim a population of about 852,000 and a median family income just over $80,000. Principal industries in this region are social services (nursing, home health services, personal aides), manufacturing, and retail trade. In 2015 the Washington Post declared that Ventura County is “the absolute most desirable place to live in America.” [5] That same year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Ventura County the same praise. [6]

  • Score: 8.15
  • Population: 500k-999k
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

4. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA

Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Irvine are all located in Orange County, have a population of 3.2 million people who enjoy a median family income of about $82,000. Unlike many places in California, the average commute time to work is a reasonable 28 minutes. Major attractions in this region include Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, which give Anaheim much of its income from tourism. Irvine has been recognized as one of America’s safest cities. [7]

  • Score: 8.05
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

5. San Rafael, CA

Located due north of downtown San Francisco in the North Bay region, San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County in California. With a mean household income around $86,000 and median home value just over $816,000, the city is a suburban bedroom community with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and parks. Police officer wages are well above the national average. [9]

  • Score: 7.9
  • Population: 250k-499k
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

6. Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA

This three-county area is classified as a “metropolitan division,” in Pennsylvania and is home to about 1.9 million people. Well-known cities in Bucks county include Levittown and the western suburbs of Trenton, NJ. Montgomery County borders on the north and west Philadelphia suburbs, while Chester County is one of the three original counties established by the state’s namesake, William Penn. Chester County boasts the highest per capita income of any Pennsylvania county.

  • Score: 7.88
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

7. Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma county, well-known for its vineyards and wine production. The city is also the home of a famous museum erected in honor of cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz of Peanuts, Snoopy and Charlie Brown fame. Median household income logs in at a bit more than $75,000 per year, with a median home value of around $568,000. [10] Based on U.S. News research, Santa Rosa is ranked #77 on the list of best places to live and #44 for best places to retire. [11]

  • Score: 7.82
  • Population: 500k-999k
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

8. Newark, NJ

Back on the East Coast, Newark with its international airport has plenty to offer police officers. Property and violent crime come in below national averages, while wages exceed the norm. With more than 2.8 million people and nearly 100,000 households, median household income registers around $35,000, yet nearly half the population earns $50,000 or more . [12]

  • Score: 7.77
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

9. Elgin, IL

Deep in the heartland, Elgin lies about 35 miles northwest of Chicago. Both violent and property crimes in Elgin are a small fraction of the national averages. [13] Household income is on average more than $63,000, which slightly exceeds the national median income. Public schools are recognized as being in the top third of schools ranked nationally. Police officers find that the everyday workload is reasonable with rates of property crime and violent crime both lower compared to national average.

  • Score: 7.76
  • Population: 500k-999k
  • Top Category: Property Crime

10. Dutchess County-Putnam County, NY

The Hudson River forms the western boundary of these Dutchess County and Putnam County in New York, which are home to nearly 400,000 people. The northern and eastern portions of Dutchess County are largely rural and agricultural, while the southern area is primarily residential. Poughkeepsie and Vassar College are both located in Dutchess County. Just south lies Putnam county, one of the most affluent counties in the U.S. with median household income at $99,479. Population density is just 431 people per square mile — fewer than seven people for each 10 acres. [14] Many cities in these two counties have their own police departments. Those that do not are patrolled by the New York State Police and the respective County Sheriffs.

  • Score: 7.74
  • Population: 250k-499k
  • Top Category: Property Crime

11. Napa, CA

The second-smallest town on this list with some 80,000 population, Napa sits along the banks of the Napa River in the heart of California’s wine country. Residents enjoy the mostly warm and sunny weather, dry air with negligible humidity and, for golfers, the opportunity to play 12 months of the year. On the other hand, the cost of housing is extreme with the median home price over $633,000. Police officers enjoy one of the highest wages among the twenty cities ranked here.

  • Score: 7.73
  • Population: 125k-174k
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

12. Gettysburg, PA

Property crime in Gettysburg is the lowest of any city studied. Famous for being a Civil War battlefield and home of President Lincoln’s address, the town is home to less than 8,000 people, yet Gettysburg hosts some 2 million tourists each year. Some of the Gettysburg Borough Police Department staff speak languages that enable them to communicate with visitors from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. [15] Gettysburg is a young town with a median age of just 23 years. Median family income is under $40,000.

  • Score: 7.72
  • Population: <125k
  • Top Category: Property Crime

13. Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD

Silver Spring, Frederick and Rockville lie north of Washington DC and their proximity to the nation’s capital has been an important contributor to the development of their local economies. Frederick is a city of about 71,000 people who enjoy a median household income of more than $73,000. Rockville, a bit wealthier, boasts household income at slightly more than $100,000, while Silver Springs, which borders on the north edge of the District of Columbia, comes in at around $84,000 per year. [16] Property and violent crime in these cities is less than 90 percent of other cities in this study.

  • Score: 7.63
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Property Crime

14. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Maria lies about 65 miles northwest of Santa Barbara and is known for the many wineries that lie along the Santa Maria Valley. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are flagship wine types that especially benefit from the climate in Santa Maria. [17] Santa Barbara, on the other hand, is often referred to as having a Mediterranean climate, which led U.S. News and World Report to rank its weather as #1 in the nation. Santa Maria has a slightly larger population at around 107,000, with Santa Barbara at about 92,000. [18]

  • Score: 7.62
  • Population: 250k-499k
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

15. Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI

Lake County is the northernmost county in Illinois along the western shore of Lake Michigan. It borders on the state line with Wisconsin. Kenosha county in Wisconsin borders up against Lake county, making the two contiguous. Populations for the counties combined tally nearly 900,000. Famous people from this region include Jack Benny, Ray Bradbury, Marlon Brando, Gary Coleman and Michael Jordan. These counties are known for low rates of violent and property crime, meaning that a police officer’s daily workload is more manageable than nearly 88 percent of cities in this study.

  • Score: 7.57
  • Population: 500k-999k
  • Top Category: Property Crime

16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA

These three cities form a megalopolis of more than 10 million people, with Los Angeles and Long Beach making up the nation’s second-most populous area. In part due to the large size of police forces — Los Angeles alone fields nearly 10,000 sworn officers [18] — the daily workload for officers is one of the lowest in the nation, while wages are among the highest. Glendale was recognized as a “safest city” in at least two surveys in 2014, while the Long Beach department has some 800 officers and an overall staffing of 1,200.

  • Score: 7.56
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

17. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

San Diego county is home to both cities, which together have more than 3 million residents. The typical workload for officers here is among the most manageable in the nation, and wages are in the top five percent of cities in this study. Home values hover around $563,000 and median family income is about $76,000. [16] For those who enjoy outdoor activities, this region offers largely warm, dry weather with average daytime temperatures in the 70s and only 9 to 13 inches of rainfall each year, most of which falls from November to April. [18]

  • Score: 7.53
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

18. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk lie on the southern coast of Connecticut and border Long Island Sound. With a median household income just short of $100,000, the region’s population of more than 900,000 comfortably exceeds the nation’s median income of $61,272 reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2018. [16,19] Property crime is low, and typical officer workload and wages are in the top 25 percent of cities in this study.

  • Score: 7.51
  • Population: 500k-999k
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

19. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA

Washington DC, Arlington, Alexandria and a snippet of extreme northeastern West Virginia constitute the DC metropolitan area, a region of more than 6 million people. Median household income in this affluent area tallies in at near $100,000. Housing median values are correspondingly high at $424,000, about one-and-one-half times the national average. Residents are among the highest educated in the nation, with more than 90 percent having finished high school and more than one in four holding an advanced post-graduate degree. [16] Police officers’ typical workload and wages are among the most favorable in the nation.

  • Score: 7.51
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

20. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ

This final entry is another megalopolis with more than 14 million residents, whose median household income is just under $70,000. A center of industry, trade and finance, this region has nearly 6 million residences with slightly more than half of them rented multi-family units rather than single-family owned properties. [16,18] While it may seem ironic, police officers’ typical workloads are the lightest in the nation, and wages are in the top 15 percent of all cities in this study.

  • Score: 7.48
  • Population: 1mil+
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

Top Cities for Police Officers by Population Group

Our list of best cities for police officers is based, in part, on FBI crime statistics. However, Safety.com analysts have gone well beyond those figures. We recognize that some officers prefer to live and work in big cities, while others favor smaller towns. We’ve taken the size of each city into account so that every city — regardless of its tax base, its major attractions, the amount available to fund police departments, or the region’s “GDP” — is measured in a balanced fashion that favors neither the very large nor very small locations.

Top Cities: Population 1 Million or More

1. Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY

The seashore is never more than a short drive away because Long Island is 118 miles long but just 23 miles across at its widest point. Not only do these Long Island counties come in as the best region in the nation for police officers. It offers a wealth of summertime outdoor activities for families.

  • Score: 8.56
  • Overall Rank: 1st
  • Top Category: Violent Crime & Typical Workload

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

This West Coast region, offering both mountains and ocean, comes in as the number two best location for police officers among the largest cities. It offers the highest wages in the nation, making this tri-city area very desirable despite a ranking for property and violent crimes that places it above only about 56 percent of the cities studies.

  • Score: 8.44
  • Overall Rank: 2nd
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

3. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA

Police officers settling in this area have the option of choosing from three city police departments or the Orange County sheriff. Anaheim’s police were founded in 1870, while Irvine’s began when California entered the United States in 1850. Santa Ana’s formed in 1886.

  • Score: 8.05
  • Overall Rank: 4th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

4. Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA

All three of these counties offer a suburban feeling and more than three-quarters of the residents own their homes and two-thirds have earned a college degree. [20] Many consider this region among the best places to live in Pennsylvania. Property and violent crime are low, typical officer workload is quite reasonable and wages are well above the norm.

  • Score: 7.88
  • Overall Rank: 6th
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

5. Newark, NJ

There’s no doubt that Newark is an urban environment. Some 75 percent of residents rent their homes, and the city is considered a “melting pot” with a diverse population. Interestingly, an officer’s typical workload is lighter than 96 percent of other regions in this study.

  • Score: 7.77
  • Overall Rank: 8th
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

Top Cities: Population 500k-999k

1. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

In addition to Ventura County being ranked as a wonderful place to live, property and violent crime are lower than 70 percent of other regions studied. Even more attractive, wages are better than about 98 percent of other areas.

  • Score: 8.15
  • Overall Rank: 3rd
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

2. Santa Rosa, CA

This Sonoma County city has a classic suburban character. More than half the residents own their homes and enjoy many amenities — coffee shops, restaurants and parks. It’s home to families and young professionals, and its public schools are above average. [21]

  • Score: 7.82
  • Overall Rank: 7th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

3. Elgin, IL

Elgin is typical of many American cities in that more than one-fourth of residents identify as Hispanic, and nearly four in five speak Spanish as either their primary or secondary language. [22]

  • Score: 7.76
  • Overall Rank: 9th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

4. Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI

Since 1911, the U.S. Navy’s Great Lakes Naval Station has been based in Lake County, IL. It occupies more than 1,600 acres on the shores of Lake Michigan. Being the Navy’s only basic training installation, it supports more than 20,000 military and civilian workers and has adds some $4.6 billion to the state’s GDP. [23]

  • Score: 7.56
  • Overall Rank: 15th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

These three affluent cities are all within Fairfield County. In Connecticut, cities and towns — not counties, for there are no county governments in Connecticut — are responsible for law enforcement and other public services. [18]

  • Score: 7.51
  • Overall Rank: 18th
  • Top Category: Typical Workload

Top Cities: Population 250k-499k

1. San Rafael, CA

The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco to San Rafael, a city known for its healthy residents. Kaiser Permanente is headquartered in San Rafael, and largely because of their presence the city has twice as many doctors than the national average. [24]

  • Score: 7.9
  • Overall Rank: 5th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

2. Dutchess County-Putnam County, NY

These counties are largely residential and many residents commute to their jobs in New York City. Putnam county has a ski resort in the city of Patterson, and the Chuang Yen Buddhist Monastery in Kent that displays the largest statue of Buddha in the Western Hemisphere. [25]

  • Score: 7.74
  • Overall Rank: 10th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

3. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

The high cost of renting or buying a home in these cities has yet to reach the skyrocketing levels of San Francisco or Silicon Valley. However, many who work in either of these cities find they must live elsewhere and commute to work. [26]

  • Score: 7.62
  • Overall Rank: 14th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

4. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA

These two cities lie northeast of San Francisco in the North Bay area. Both are within the boundaries of Solano county where they constitute a metropolitan statistical area. With a population of 445,000, the median household income is just over $77,000. Both cities have a residential character and are home to many young professionals and families. Police officer wages in this area rank #3 of all regions summarized in this study. [16,18,21]

  • Score: 7.47
  • Overall Rank: 21st
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

5. Erie, PA

Erie has been a maritime center since the 18th century. It gives Pennsylvania access to Lake Erie and the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Erie is an international port of entry for goods and services. Manufacturing, tourism and agriculture also provide many jobs to the 275,000 residents. The Presque Isle peninsula and state park offer fishing, swimming and boating throughout the summer months and ranks sixth in the nation for receiving the most snow each year. [18]

  • Score: 7.39
  • Overall Rank: 25th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

Top Cities: Population 175k-249k

1. Kingston, NY

Kingston is on the Hudson River with Connecticut on the other side. It’s the county seat of Ulster County and home to almost 180,000 people. Median home value and household income are $165,000 and around $45,000, respectively. The low rates of both property and violent crime, coupled with wages that fall into the top 10 percent of cities studied, make Kingston a desirable place for officers who prefer smaller towns. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.38
  • Overall Rank: 26th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

2. Barnstable Town, MA

Residents refer to Barnstable as a town, not a city. Regardless, it’s situated on Cape Cod and is home to nearly 215,000 people. It was incorporated in 1639 as one of the original Plymouth Colonies. Today, Barnstable Town is a major tourist destination as well as home to the Kennedy family who live in nearby Hyannis Port. Median home values are in the $350,000 range with household income at about $66,000. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.24
  • Overall Rank: 42nd
  • Top Category: Extreme Event Workload

3. Rochester, MN

Rochester is the state’s third-largest city with a population of 218,000. The Mayo Clinic is headquartered there, and with more than 34,000 employees, it’s the city’s largest employer. Both property and violent crimes rank low, placing Rochester in a better position on crime than 90 percent of cities studied. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.24
  • Overall Rank: 43rd
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

4. Appleton, WI

Just 30 miles southwest of Green Bay lies Appleton, a city on the Fox River of some 235,000 people. With modest home prices at a median of $140,000 and household income at about $56,000, it’s one of the more affordable areas. Like Rochester, MN, Appleton has low rates of property and violent crime. Officers’ typical workloads are lighter than two-thirds of cities studied. It’s another good option for those who prefer smaller cities. [18]

  • Score: 7.21
  • Overall Rank: 45th
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

5. Bloomington, IL

Settled in the early 1800s, this city is anchored today by the State Farm insurance company, which employs more than 14,000 of the city’s 189,000 residents. Median income and home values are in the range of $67,000 and $166,000, respectively. Police officer wages are better than about 79 percent of the cities studied, while property and violent crimes are lower than about three-quarters of those cities. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.13
  • Overall Rank: 52nd
  • Top Category: Property Crime

Top Cities: Population 125k-174k

1. Napa, CA

Napa has a small-town vibe that offers so many options for food, wine and activities that some residents say it’s hard to choose. The city has appealed to tourists for many years, which has led several world class hotels, restaurants and resorts to build in Napa. It’s also a city that has attracted its share of retirees who seek a small-town atmosphere and pleasant weather year round. [27]

  • Score: 7.73
  • Overall Rank: 11th
  • Top Category: Annual Mean Wage

2. State College, PA

This college town is home the Pennsylvania State University, better known as Penn State. It’s an especially interesting place to live and work for several reasons. The median age is just 21 years old with 46,000 college-age students living there during the school year. Census figures show the permanent population at about 42,000. Violent and property crime are the third- and fourth-lowest of all cities studied. Police wages are higher than about 54 percent of those cities. [18]

  • Score: 7.41
  • Overall Rank: 23rd
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

3. Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY

With some 150,000 residents, this region is best known for the U.S. national gold repository. Median income and home values are in the range of $53,000 and $145,000, respectively. Elizabethtown and Fort Knox qualify as “best places” primarily because of their low ranking on property and violent crime, and the officer’s typical workload, which is lighter than nearly three-quarters of the cities studied. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.31
  • Overall Rank: 35th
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

4. Wausau, WI

A town with about 136,000 population, it’s northwest of Green Bay in the middle of the state in what’s known as a hemiboreal region — meaning the climate is a blend of the temperate zone and the sub-arctic zone. Both property and violent crimes rank low, placing Wausau in a better position on crime than 90 percent of cities studied. Officer wages are higher than three-quarters of the cities studied. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.3
  • Overall Rank: 36th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

5. Lebanon, PA

Lebanon is the name of both the county and the city. With a county population around 140,000, the city is quite small with only around 25,000. Median income and home values are in the ranges of $37,500 and $88,600, respectively. Both property and violent crime are low, as is the officers’ typical daily workload. Police wages are higher than two-thirds of the areas studied. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.11
  • Overall Rank: 54th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

Top Cities: Population Under 125k

1. Gettysburg, PA

Residents of this legendary town applaud the many dining choices, historical features and the “small town feel,” pointing out that the Gettysburg National Military Park literally surrounds the city, preventing further growth. They also complain about the hordes of tourists that descend on the city during the annual re-enactment of the battle between July 1st and July 3rd each year. [29]

  • Score: 7.72
  • Overall Rank: 12th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

2. Fond du Lac, WI

Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Winnebago, Fon du Lac homes have a median price of $124,000 and a $50,000 median household income. Population within Fon du Lac county is about 102,000, while Fon du Lac city is home to around 43,000. Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation, is the area’s largest employer with some 2,500 employees. The area is served by one shopping mall and one hospital. Ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is a popular winter pastime. [18]

  • Score: 7.25
  • Overall Rank: 40th
  • Top Category: Property Crime

3. Williamsport, PA

Williamsport is both a Metropolitan Statistical Area with about 114,000 people, and a city with some 28,000. It lies on the banks of the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania. Median home price is about $100,000 — 40 percent lower than the rest of Pennsylvania, which makes housing affordable — and household income is around $36,000. [30]

  • Score: 7.09
  • Overall Rank: 56th
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

4. Wenatchee, WA

Wenatchee, too, is both a Metropolitan Statistical Area with about 119,000 people, and a city with about 33,000. The area has been ranked the country’s 22nd highest employment growth area by USA Today. Wenatchee has been named “Home of the World’s Best Apples,” with fruit tree sales being a major source of revenue for the region. [18]

  • Score: 7.08
  • Overall Rank: 58th
  • Top Category: Violent Crime

5. Ocean City, NJ

Residents of this area, known for its beaches, boardwalk and entertainment, make Ocean City one of the “oldest” towns: median age of the 94,000 residents is 53.2 years. Median home values tally in at more than half-a-million dollars with household income at nearly $73,000. Police officer wages are better than 83 percent of areas included in this study. Violent crime is very low, however property crime ranks worse than 72 percent of those other areas. [16,18]

  • Score: 7.04
  • Overall Rank: 62nd
  • Top Category: Extreme Event Workload

Methodology

Our ranking began with cities and MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) and their most up to date violent and property crime counts gathered from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Tool. From there we gathered more data for completeness, such as the annual mean wage and the total number of police officers for each location. The following is a brief description of each data metric and why we included them:

Annual Mean Wage

30% of final score
Police officers should make a decent income for their difficult and dangerous work. This data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics.

Property and Violent Crimes

15% and 20% of final score, respectively
We’ve included property and violent crime rate as proxies for police officer endangerment. Any time a crime happens, police officers are called to respond which comes with risks. Again, this data came from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Tool.

Typical Workload

25% of final score
On a typical basis, how stressed are police officers going to be and how heavy is their workload? We determined the typical workload of police officers by adding the violent and property crimes together for each city and then dividing this by the number of police officers. The lower the score, the better it is for the location since it indicates less cases per police officer.

Extreme Workload

10% of final score
How likely is the experience of extreme emergency, such as a series of riots or a state of emergency? Smaller police forces are easily overwhelmed by major events in more populous areas. This statistic, like the typical workload metric, is an original metric we created that is the ratio of a location’s population to the number of police officers. The higher the score the more it negatively impacts their final score, since there is a greater responsibility with more people per police officer, and therefore more stress.

Conclusion

The world can be a dangerous place, even for the ones armed to protect and serve. Much like anyone else, police officers may be looking for a new place to live one day, whether it’s to start a new job, raise a family or relocate to a smaller town. And like all of us when we move, safety is at the top of the list.

Sources

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5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/08/17/every-county-in-america-ranked-by-natural-beauty/?utm_term=.4bf1970b901f
6. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/08/19/ventura-county-named-most-desirable-place-to-live-nationwide/
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irvine,_California#Awards_and_recognition
8. https://censusreporter.org/profiles/16000US0669000-santa-ana-ca/
9. https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/san-rafael-marin-ca/
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11. https://realestate.usnews.com/places/california/santa-rosa
12. https://censusreporter.org/profiles/16000US3451000-newark-nj/
13. https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/elgin-kane-il/
14. https://censusreporter.org/profiles/05000US36079-putnam-county-ny/
15. https://www.gettysburgpa.gov/policepublic-safety
16. https://censusreporter.org
17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Maria,_California#Wine
18. https://wikipedia.com
19. https://www.census.gov/content/census/en/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-263.html
20. https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/c/bucks-county-pa/residents/
21. https://niche.com
22. https://www.areavibes.com/elgin-il/livability/
23. https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_great_lakes.html
24. https://livability.com/ca/san-rafael/real-estate/why-san-rafael-ca-is-a-best-place-to-live
25. https://www.streetadvisor.com/putnam-county-new-york
26. https://realestate.usnews.com/places/california/santa-barbara
27. https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-live-in-Napa-CA
28. https://coast.noaa.gov/states/fast-facts/economics-and-demographics.html
29. https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-live-in-Gettysburg-PA
30. http://areavibes.com