RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas has earned the title of the worst state to be a police officer in, according to a new study published by WalletHub.
The study looked at several different factors, including opportunity and competition, job hazards and protection, and quality of life.
The category of opportunity and competition includes officers per capita, average starting salary, the median income for officers, and potential for salary growth.
Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble believes the most detrimental factor to his department is low pay.
He has been fighting to get his deputies a higher base salary for some time now.
"It's just difficult to find qualified people to serve the citizens for what we're paying them," Tribble said. "And we know the profession they're in, they're in a dangerous profession."
Tribble said from talking to other sheriffs and chiefs, it seems like officer pay is a concern across the entire area.
"I'd say we're going to be in some of the minimal pay," Tribble said. "Our non-certified base rate of pay is $22,750."
And Tribble is correct about Arkansas being in the bottom, according to this study.
WalletHub lists only two states, Hawaii and South Carolina, with lower median incomes for law enforcement.
Tribble also said they do try to continue training opportunities for deputies, but it's hard to schedule those training sessions when they do not have a full staff.
"As much as we can, we send our personnel to training but you have your responsibilities you have to meet too," Tribble said.
You can read the full study and methodology from WalletHub by clicking here.