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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.
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.
|Case characteristic||Number of cases|
Nature of injury or illness
Sprains, strains, tears
All other natures
Punctures (except gunshot wounds)
Part of body affected
Multiple body parts
Source of injury or illness
Person, other than injured or ill workers
All other sources
Worker motion or position
Floors, walkways, ground surfaces
Event or exposure leading to injury or illness
Injury by person-unintentional or intent unknown
Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles
Fall on same level
Intentional injury by other person
Overexertion in lifting or lowering
 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 work injuries totaled 86 for police and sheriff's patrol officers during 2019, compared to 108 during 2018.
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