All told, California is a pretty good place to be a police officer.
Financial services website WalletHub, known for producing publishing studies with eye-catching names, examined all 50 states for police friendliness using three metrics — opportunity and competition, job hazards and protections, and quality of life — and found that California ranked No. 3 over all, and within the top 10 for both opportunity and job protections.
Just New York and Maryland ranked higher than California. Louisiana ranked last.
So what does that mean?
The category of “opportunity and competition” measured factors such as the total number of law enforcement officers per capita, the average starting salary of a police officer as well as the median income.
California came in at No. 2.
Under “job hazards and protections,” the study measured things such as police misconduct confidentiality laws, police body camera legislation, police deaths per capita and “degree of lethal force allowed for police use.”
California came in at No. 6.
“Quality of life” measured categories such as housing affordability, state and local police protections and “public image of law enforcement.”
California came in at No. 34.
In California, the Peace Officer Bill of Rights affords police officers considerable protections from public scrutiny, though recent legislation has sought to increase transparency in both state and local law enforcement agencies. A law former Gov. Jerry Brown signed last year, Senate Bill 1421, has compelled police departments to release more information about alleged officer misconduct .
California lawmakers this year are considering another bill that could make it easier to prosecute officers after questionable shootings. Assembly Bill 392 would change the legal standard for when officers can use deadly force, mandating that officers should not use lethal measures unless no other options are available.