Missouri ranks low on best and worst states to be a police officer

Missouri ranked 44 worst state in the country to be a police officer (KRCG 13)

Missouri was in the bottom ten of the worst states to be a police officer, according to a recent study conducted by WalletHub.

The Show-Me-State ranked 44 on the 2017's Best and Worst States to Be a Police Officer list.

WalletHub's data team compared the 50 states and included the District of Columbia.

North Dakota ranked number one and Louisiana came in last place at 51.

The study considered opportunity, competition, job hazards, protections and quality of life.

The study scored states on a 100 point scale. Missouri received a 41.72, whereas North Dakota scored 63.05 and Louisiana had a 33.14.

Missouri also ranked 48th for median income growth for law enforcement officers between 2015 and 2016.

Lt. David Williams with the Jefferson City Police Department said numbers can be deceiving and there can always be improvement. But he said he feels Missouri is overall at the top.

"I know that it was told to me 24 years ago, if you were becoming a police officer for the money you were not going to be happy in your career," Williams said. "You have to really want to be able to do the things that make us a strong profession whether or not the salary shows that or not. Depending on the staples that they look at I will tell you that some of the things we've lost as far as benefits - there's always a better way."

Williams said the starting salary for a police office with no prior experience or training was $37,000 annually, about $17 an hour.

According to WalletHub, in the past 10 years, more than 1,500 police officers have died in the line of duty.

During the week of May 15, states across the U.S. honored those fallen heroes during 'National Police Week'. The events in Washington D.C. drew between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees.

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