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Report: Washington among top 10 best states to be a police officer

A police vehicle follows behind a group of demonstrators near Pike Place Market as they protest the death of Daunte Wright on April 12, 2021, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Washington is among the top 10 best states to be a police officer in 2021, according to WalletHub.

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In overall rank, Washington state comes in at number eight, with California taking the top spot. Connecticut, Maryland, District of Columbia, Ohio, Illinois, and Colorado take spots two through seven, in that order, with Georgia and Minnesota rounding out the top 10 behind Washington.

The WalletHub report gives each state a total score, with categories of: opportunity and competition; law enforcement training requirements; and job hazards and protections. The District of Columbia actually ranks first in both opportunity and competition, and job hazards and protections, but fell to fourth overall with a 50th ranking for law enforcement training requirements.

Washington comes in eighth for opportunity and competition, 17th for training requirements, and 33rd for job hazards and protections. Washington is in the bottom five for fewest law enforcement officers per capita, along with Utah, Iowa, Kentucky, and Oregon.

Adjusted for cost of living, Washington is in the top five for highest median income for officers.

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At the Seattle Police Department, however, 66 police officers have separated so far this year. By the end of May, that number is expected to hit nearly 100. The current deployable staff is just 1,088, which brings the city back to deployable numbers matching at least the 1980s.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told KTTH’s Jason Rantz that he’s taking advantage of Seattle’s staffing situation. He has billboards up in an effort to recruit cops from Seattle, Portland, and Denver.

Bellevue is facing staffing issues of its own, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Bellevue Police Department is now offering a signing bonus for officers from other cities to help fill the gaps.

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