Study names Kentucky 3rd worst state for police officers

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Just ahead of National Police Week, a new study takes a look at the best and worst states for law enforcement to work.

Kentucky is ranked the 3rd worst state for police officers in the study released by personal-finance website Wallethub this week.

The study looks at police departments across the state and around the country. Looking at income, police protections and overall quality of life.

“I really can’t see anything that the study represents here at all. This is a fantastic place to work. Our citizens in the city of Bowling Green give us so much support. The political leaders in our community give us so much support. We don’t feel any negative impacts,” said Ronnie Ward, Public Information Officer at the Bowling Green Police Department.

Some of the study’s criteria includes number of pursuit related fatalities. The Bowling Green Police Department has a strict no-pursuit policy.

“There’s already things that we started looking at down through the list and saying, that doesn’t apply to us, but yet they’re giving heavy point values to it. So, because it would never apply to us obviously, we’re going to fall way down the list,” said Ward.

The Bowling Green Police department has been affected by a hiring shortage.  According to the study, Kentucky was ranked 45th in law enforcement officers per capita.

“It takes a long time to get a police officer trained. With any agency you’re going to have a turnover. Our force is becoming younger, so we have a whole lot of new officers, but it takes probably about two years to get fully out on your own” said Tiger Tooley, Human Resources Coordinator at City of Bowling Green.

The process of becoming a police officer is long and often candidates drop out.

 “It’s a very stringent hiring process. You can’t just one day decide that, ‘oh I want to be a police officer’ and just get hired like that. An extensive background is done, a polygraph, psychological evaluation,” said Tooley.

According to the study the absolute worst state to be a police officer is Louisiana, the best state is New York.