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Why is Georgia one of the worst states to be a law enforcement officer?

Anyone seeking a career in law enforcement may want to think twice before heading to Georgia.

Georgia is among the 10 worst states in the country to be a law enforcement officer, according to recent data analysis from personal finance website, WalletHub.

The site used 20 measures across 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine police friendliness in each state. The measures included everything from median income for officers to the number of law-enforcement officers per capita. For the purposes of the survey, the term "law enforcement officers" refers to police and sheriff's patrol officers, detectives and criminal investigators.

Georgia ranked low overall, but was dead last when it comes to quality of life.

Law enforcement officers in Georgia are among the lowest paid nationwide when salaries are adjusted for the cost of living.

Low pay for officers seems to be something of a trend in the South as Louisiana, Arkansas and South Carolina help round out the list of states with the lowest median incomes. Maine was the only state not in the southern region of the country that had low median income for law enforcement officers. Illinois offers the highest median income.

The mean income for the 900,000 plus law enforcement officers all across the country is $61,600, which is higher than the mean for all occupations, but this is a job that comes with big risks. In 2016, 143 officers died in the line of duty and tens of thousands were injured or assaulted. It's a good thing some officers may be able to draw full retirement benefits as early as age 40 depending on when they joined the police force.

Law enforcement officers are currently facing some pretty big issues with regard to public trust and the growing range of crimes in America. These are issues that are not likely to disappear anytime soon and the field of law enforcement will have to evolve and change to meet the demands of the nation.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.