A new study shows South Carolina to be one of the worst states to pursue a law enforcement career, ranking 44th-best in the country.
The study included police and sheriff patrol officers, detectives and criminal investigators.
South Carolina finished in the bottom five in lowest median income growth for law enforcement officers from 2016 to 2017 (46th) and had lowest median income for law enforcement officers after adjustment for cost of living (51st).
The study was conducted by WalletHub, which compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 25 indicators of police-friendliness. Data sets also included police deaths per 1,000 officers and state and local police protection expenses per capita.
Key rankings included:
- 51st – median income for law enforcement officers (adjusted for cost of living)
- 46th – median income growth for law enforcement officers
- 41st – violent crime rate
- 25th – percentage of homicide cases solved
- 43rd – state and local police protection expenses per capita
- 20th – police deaths per 1,000 officers
South Carolina finished ahead of West Virginia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana and Arkansas.
According to the study, 129 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2017.
In January, Gov. Henry McMaster announced a plan to cut taxes for law enforcement officers in the state. Lexington County Sherriff Jay Koon called the cuts a potential tool to help to recruit future officers.