Arizona among worst states to be a police officer, website says
PHOENIX – Law enforcement is one of the most challenging careers a person can pursue.
And it can be especially difficult in Arizona, according to a new analysis by a personal finance website.
The Grand Canyon State landed at No. 47 in WalletHub’s 2019 rankings of best and worst states to be a be a police officer, which were released Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, Arizona ranks within the bottom five, looking at this from a police officer’s perspective, particularly when it comes to job hazards and protections,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.
“There is unfortunately a lot of hazards and not a lot of protections in place for cops in Arizona.”
Author and retired Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch told KTAR News the hazards are accepted parts of the job “for those individuals who truly want to make a commitment to the community and help, which is was what I truly believed I was doing every day.
“If I had to arrest a bad guy, I know I was keeping the community safe. And I’ve been shot at; I understand that risk.”
The website looked at 27 metrics in three key areas: opportunity/competition, job hazards/protections and quality of life.
Quality of life was the only area Arizona ranked better than the 40s, checking in at No. 29.
“It was about middle of the pack there instead of at the bottom of the rankings,” Gonzalez said.
“So things like housing affordability, where we’re looking at the median house price compared to income for law enforcement officers, those types of things are looking OK right now.”
New York, Maryland and California took the top three spots on the list, which included the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
Only New Mexico, Kentucky, Arkansas and last-place Louisiana trailed Arizona in the rankings.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar and Ashley Flood contributed to this report.