Law enforcement is a career that is always in the public eye, whether for heroic reasons or scandal. Currently, our nation’s 800,000 law enforcement officers have even more of a spotlight than usual, though. That’s because they have been in charge of enforcing COVID-19 restrictions, and because of recent high-profile police brutality incidents, including the trial of Derek Chauvin, which ended with a murder conviction.
Even when the U.S. isn’t in the middle of a pandemic, being a police officer is significantly more dangerous than many other occupations. Because of such risks, law-enforcement agencies must offer enough incentives to attract and retain officers. To start, there’s a $67,290 mean annual wage and typically a generous benefits package which can include retirement-contribution matches, tuition assistance, ample leave time, a take-home vehicle, and access to health and fitness facilities.