These Are The 10 Best Cities For Police Officers

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Whether you’re just starting out your career, or looking to make a move, it can be important to know what part of the country offers the best chance for your long term career prospects. And for a very common profession like Police Officers, the regional differences can have a big impact on your salary and career options.

To help you make the best decision possible, we at Zippia wanted to look at the cities that offer police officers the most for their career. These are the cities across the US where police officers get paid well, relative to the cost of living, and jobs are plentiful.

So we did what we do best and dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which cities have the best opportunities for police officers.The result is this list of the best cities police officers:

  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. Philadelphia, PA
  3. Miami, FL
  4. Chicago, IL
  5. Trenton, NJ
  6. Visalia, CA
  7. Santa Cruz, CA
  8. Oxnard, CA
  9. Redding, CA
  10. Atlantic City, NJ

So there you have it — Los Angeles is the best city when it comes to being a police officer.

And where should you consider avoiding if you’re a police officer? That would be Hammond.

Read on to see how we completed our research on the best cities for police officers and for more on the top ten cities.

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How we determined the best cities to be a police officers?




Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best cities for police officers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well police officers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given city.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across cities, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

This left us with enough data for 401 metro areas across the country. We then took the primary area of the metro and labeled that the ‘city’ for this analysis. So, for example, “Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division” became simply Boston.

In order to develop an overall ranking, we ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 401 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a city into a Job Score with the city having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best city for police officers in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each city so great for police officers.

1. Los Angeles, CA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 25,450
Average Annual Salary: $96,810
Average Entry Level Salary: $66,500
Location Quotient: 1.31

2. Philadelphia, PA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,730
Average Annual Salary: $67,130
Average Entry Level Salary: $47,000
Location Quotient: 1.61

3. Miami, FL

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 7,770
Average Annual Salary: $73,350
Average Entry Level Salary: $49,210
Location Quotient: 1.5

4. Chicago, IL

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 21,220
Average Annual Salary: $74,860
Average Entry Level Salary: $50,350
Location Quotient: 1.25

5. Trenton, NJ

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,180
Average Annual Salary: $90,980
Average Entry Level Salary: $62,270
Location Quotient: 1.12

6. Visalia, CA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 970
Average Annual Salary: $73,150
Average Entry Level Salary: $52,390
Location Quotient: 1.46

7. Santa Cruz, CA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 430
Average Annual Salary: $100,430
Average Entry Level Salary: $69,860
Location Quotient: 1.02

8. Oxnard, CA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,430
Average Annual Salary: $102,570
Average Entry Level Salary: $67,080
Location Quotient: 1.02

9. Redding, CA

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 310
Average Annual Salary: $90,440
Average Entry Level Salary: $53,230
Location Quotient: 1.13

10. Atlantic City, NJ

Best States For Police Officers

Source: wikipedia

Total Jobs: 930
Average Annual Salary: $81,820
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,830
Location Quotient: 1.55

And that’s our list of the best cities for police officers

If you’re looking to start out your career as a police officer these are the cities that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst cities to be a police officer in America:

  1. Hammond
  2. Monroe
  3. Bangor

Detailed List Of The Best Cities For Police Officers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Los Angeles, CA $96,810 $66,500 25,450
2 Philadelphia, PA $67,130 $47,000 6,730
3 Miami, FL $73,350 $49,210 7,770
4 Chicago, IL $74,860 $50,350 21,220
5 Trenton, NJ $90,980 $62,270 1,180
6 Visalia, CA $73,150 $52,390 970
7 Santa Cruz, CA $100,430 $69,860 430
8 Oxnard, CA $102,570 $67,080 1,430
9 Redding, CA $90,440 $53,230 310
10 Atlantic City, NJ $81,820 $43,830 930
11 Vallejo, CA $96,870 $59,910 600
12 Fort Worth, TX $65,130 $43,930 5,470
13 Erie, PA $71,970 $49,890 630
14 Chico, CA $80,500 $56,380 380
15 Champaign, IL $70,300 $43,070 610
16 Elgin, IL $75,270 $52,480 1,210
17 San Francisco, CA $108,150 $84,120 4,430
18 Detroit, MI $62,370 $44,300 4,120
19 Beaumont, TX $60,670 $44,240 940
20 El Paso, TX $60,020 $40,390 1,910
21 Oakland, CA $98,580 $72,340 4,570
22 Newark, NJ $89,260 $51,830 5,530
23 Amarillo, TX $58,900 $40,870 720
24 Racine, WI $64,230 $48,330 400
25 Bakersfield, CA $73,060 $50,060 1,610
26 Sacramento, CA $87,300 $53,690 4,070
27 Houston, TX $61,030 $42,020 15,800
28 Dover, DE $66,720 $42,130 380
29 San Jose, CA $114,520 $83,470 3,890
30 Laredo, TX $60,890 $35,030 820
31 Mount Vernon, WA $73,030 $54,060 190
32 San Luis Obispo, CA $85,030 $57,180 460
33 Columbus, OH $66,050 $40,940 4,660
34 San Diego, CA $78,420 $54,170 5,880
35 West Palm Beach, FL $67,200 $45,620 2,760
36 Fort Lauderdale, FL $67,210 $42,860 4,140
37 Riverside, CA $88,050 $56,680 5,240
38 Stockton, CA $83,810 $51,990 930
39 Santa Maria, CA $94,230 $75,940 660
40 South Bend, IN $51,210 $37,070 940
41 Austin, TX $68,410 $43,370 3,870
42 Dallas, TX $63,990 $42,850 10,320
43 Cleveland, OH $58,620 $41,490 4,470
44 Dayton, OH $59,580 $40,130 1,630
45 Pueblo, CO $63,520 $45,320 300
46 Hanford, CA $68,800 $46,530 210
47 Brockton, MA $66,370 $47,140 470
48 Lake Havasu City, AZ $54,910 $41,280 290
49 Farmington, NM $50,740 $39,470 320
50 San Angelo, TX $51,130 $36,810 370
51 Salem, OR $69,440 $48,030 610
52 Lancaster, PA $70,520 $54,270 780
53 El Centro, CA $77,160 $50,520 220
54 San Antonio, TX $56,960 $39,570 4,830
55 Montgomery County, PA $77,540 $51,910 3,260
56 Naples, FL $58,760 $42,030 740
57 Fort Collins, CO $74,260 $56,970 500
58 Las Vegas, NV $76,460 $53,260 2,990
59 Decatur, IL $62,310 $43,800 240
60 Boulder, CO $70,810 $55,480 610
61 Kankakee, IL $66,540 $40,320 210
62 Camden, NJ $76,430 $41,970 2,420
63 New York, NY $73,480 $40,570 41,170
64 Toledo, OH $53,000 $35,290 1,630
65 Phoenix, AZ $64,260 $47,580 7,470
66 Salinas, CA $80,820 $55,270 550
67 Anchorage, AK $78,100 $54,560 570
68 Tacoma, WA $74,380 $53,450 860
69 Gary, IN $51,410 $40,580 1,320
70 Reno, NV $66,210 $50,640 790
71 Merced, CA $75,010 $46,690 270
72 Colorado Springs, CO $64,790 $44,400 1,220
73 Santa Rosa, CA $97,420 $71,880 500
74 Nassau County, NY $97,910 $46,810 5,030
75 Madera, CA $68,410 $51,470 170
76 Coeur d’Alene, ID $52,210 $39,280 270
77 Bellingham, WA $71,410 $50,410 270
78 Lewiston, ID $50,980 $34,900 140
79 Punta Gorda, FL $51,410 $40,660 340
80 Killeen, TX $51,640 $35,240 970
81 Napa, CA $104,010 $72,100 160
82 Anaheim, CA $97,530 $69,210 3,710
83 Akron, OH $56,020 $37,610 1,500
84 Seattle, WA $82,120 $63,610 3,760
85 East Stroudsburg, PA $81,150 $36,850 240
86 Wilmington, DE $66,000 $45,940 1,400
87 Yakima, WA $68,150 $46,000 300
88 Cincinnati, OH $59,860 $39,340 3,960
89 College Station, TX $55,560 $34,660 590
90 Kennewick, WA $73,110 $37,530 470
91 Lake County, IL $73,970 $50,340 1,220
92 Lima, OH $51,490 $33,290 280
93 Tucson, AZ $57,280 $41,530 1,760
94 Denver, CO $71,740 $52,220 4,280
95 Flagstaff, AZ $55,000 $39,930 320
96 Allentown, PA $62,660 $37,990 1,610
97 Janesville, WI $56,880 $41,800 300
98 Sherman, TX $52,030 $35,900 250
99 Decatur, AL $51,940 $33,070 290
100 Greeley, CO $56,240 $42,070 570