Are Police Officers Paid Enough?

When considering the stability and safety of a community, one thinks of emergency services. EMS, firefighters and police are all major pillars of their communities, keeping people safe. When it comes to fighting crime, police are the primary line of defense against criminals in a community. However, this begs the question: are police adequately compensated for their work?

On average, a police officer in the United States doesn’t need to be scrounging for bargain groceries and inexpensive cellphone plans. American police officers average around $53,000 per year, a salary somewhat above the median income in the US. But what does this number mean in context?

This might sound like a very high base rate of pay for a civic servant, but it reflects the relative difficulty of acquiring a job with a police department and the danger that uniformed officers can face during their duties. Such dangers, including interacting with the public on a daily basis, are meant to be offset by the high base rate of pay.