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Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
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Occupation Snapshot | Police and sheriff's patrol officers, 2015-2019 | January 2021


Background

Police and sheriff's patrol officers maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. They perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects; or serve legal processes of courts. This occupation includes police officers working at educational institutions.

As of May 2019, there were 665,280 people employed in this occupation. The average hourly wage was $32.50 and the average annual wage was $67,600.

Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses

In this occupation, there were 26,350 nonfatal injury and illness cases requiring days away from work during 2019. The incidence rate per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers was 429.3.



Table 1. Number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work by selected case characteristics, police and sheriff's patrol officers, all United States, 2019
Case characteristic[1]Number of cases

Nature of injury or illness

Sprains, strains, tears

8,230

Soreness, pain

6,340

All other natures

5,070

Punctures (except gunshot wounds)

1,300

Bruises, contusions

1,290

Part of body affected

Multiple body parts

4,630

Knee

3,690

Back

2,660

Hand

2,610

Shoulder

2,000

Source of injury or illness

Person, other than injured or ill workers

7,420

Vehicles

5,150

All other sources

4,700

Worker motion or position

4,380

Floors, walkways, ground surfaces

2,630

Event or exposure leading to injury or illness

Injury by person-unintentional or intent unknown

4,520

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles

3,670

Fall on same level

2,240

Intentional injury by other person

1,990

Overexertion in lifting or lowering

1,370

[1] Data shown correspond to Nature, Part, Source, and Event codes based on the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System 2.01 developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Fatal occupational injuries

Fatal work injuries totaled 86 for police and sheriff's patrol officers during 2019, compared to 108 during 2018.


Sources

Wage and employment estimates come from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. Injury and illness information come from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). For more information on SOII and CFOI program concepts and definitions see the SOII Handbook of Methods and the CFOI Handbook of Methods.

 

Last Modified Date: February 4, 2021