The financial website Wallet Hub released a study recently naming Montana as the sixth worst place in the United States to be a law enforcement officer.

KGVO reached out to Wallet Hub analyst and attorney Jill Gonzalez for details on why Montana ranked so low on the list nationwide.

“(Montana) is not the best place for a police officer,” began Gonzalez. “Right now Montana ranked 45th Out of all 50 states and DC, so it is in the bottom 10 particularly when it comes to job hazards. It's not necessarily such a crime stricken state, but just when we're looking at such a large area to cover for road safety. That is a concern there because there simply are so many roads to cover. So, that's what we're looking at here in terms of the safety of officers.”

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Gonzalez mined deeper into Wallet Hubs study and why Montana came up short for law enforcement.

“We're looking at about 30 different indicators of police friendliness that ranges from median income for law enforcement officers to things like police death to state and local police protection per capita,” she said. “So not only from a cost perspective, what's the opportunity like, and are there jobs available? What are the training requirements? What are job hazards and protection?”

Gonzalez provided suggestions for improvement from the Wallet Hub study.

“When we're looking at training requirements and things like body cameras, etc, that's an area where Montana could certainly catch up to most other states,” she said. “There’s not necessarily any police body camera legislation in place yet like a lot of states. Do you have that now? Even things like carrying Naloxone to help with overdose deaths. That's something that could be a little bit better in Montana as well.”

Gonzalez had more suggestions for improvement to help Montana move up the list in becoming a more ‘police friendly’ state.

“I think seeing what type of legislation is in place,” she said. “Obviously, the police don't make up legislation, but that's something to really look toward having the authority to make sure that we are seeing that the police officers in Montana are receiving just as great of a training as the police officers in New York, that the technology is catching up and that the police force itself, is catching up as well.”

Connecticut, California and Illinois were named the three ‘best states to be a cop’, while Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas were last on the list.

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