For real? Chicago ranked 4th best city for officers to live

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Crusader Staff Report

A new study ranks Chicago, IL as the No. 4 best city for quality of life for police officers.

Using the most recent data from the FBI and U.S. Department of Labor, security.org today released a study on Best and Worst Cities for Police Officers. The rankings were determined by analyzing income, police deaths, employment opportunity and cost of living in each of the 300 cities studied.

Pittsburg was ranked the best city for police officers to work and live, according to the survey. The second best city for police officers is Birmingham, AL. Rounding out the top 10 were New York City, Chicago, Montgomery, AL, Toledo, OH, St. Louis, MO, Buffalo, NY, Cleveland and Memphis.

The survey raises eyebrows about its high ranking of the Chicago Police Department, which is the second largest in the nation with more than 13,352 officers. At least seven Chicago policemen have committed suicides since 2018. Last month, one Chicago police officer killed himself in a Cook County Forest Preserve.

Overall, 12 of the 20 cities were major cities. They include Memphis (#10), Los Angeles (#13), Philadelphia (#15), Washington, DC (#16), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (#19).

The survey also ranked the 20 worst cities for police officers to live. Many of those ranked on that list are small cities with populations and small police budgets. According to the survey, Lewiston, ME was the worst city for police officers to live.

A Department of Justice report in 2017 said Chicago’s officer suicide rate was 60 percent higher than the national law enforcement average.

According to a Gallup Poll, the percentage of people with a favorable view of the police has fallen by 7 percent since 2017 and stands near the levels seen just after the Rodney King verdict.

While trust in law enforcement may be fluctuating, the police still have the third-highest approval rating of all institutions, behind only the military and small business, according to securitytoday.org.

The survey said more than 800,000 people are employed as police officers in the U.S., and the average police officer makes more money than the average worker among all occupations. But how do cities fare when it comes to attractiveness for police officers?

In which cities can they expect to make the most money, where are they most likely to find jobs, and where are they least likely to face life-threatening situations while on the job? Data was examined for hundreds of U.S. cities and metro areas across an array of metrics to discover which cities are the best (and worst) for police.

A data comparison on income, safety, employment and cost of living will determine which cities lead the way for police and which ones officers may want to avoid.

The median annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers, the occupation that most police officers fall into, is $61,380, which is far higher than the total median annual wage for all jobs, which is $38,640, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But this figure varies dramatically, depending on where in the country you’re looking.

For instance, police in Hammond, Louisiana make just over $30,000 a year, while cops in San Jose, California earn wages in the six figures.

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