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Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
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Occupation Snapshot | Police officers, 2016–2020 | January 2022


Background

Police 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, railroads, and transit properties.

As of May 2020, there were 658,700 people employed in this occupation. The average hourly wage was $33.66, and the average annual wage was $70,010.

Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses

In this occupation, there were 39,000 nonfatal injury and illness cases involving days away from work in 2020. The incidence rate per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers was 682.5.



Table 1. Number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work by selected case characteristics, police officers, all United States, 2020
Case characteristic[1]Number of cases

Nature of injury or illness

All other natures

16,210

Sprains, strains, tears

9,070

Soreness, pain

6,870

Bruises, contusions

1,770

Fractures

1,520

Part of body affected

Body systems

12,630

Multiple body parts

4,800

Knee

3,610

Hand

2,740

Back

2,460

Source of injury or illness

All other sources

14,660

Vehicles

5,720

Worker motion or position

3,420

Floors, walkways, ground surfaces

2,830

Containers

560

Event or exposure leading to injury or illness

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

12,560

Injury by person-unintentional or intent unknown

6,970

Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles

4,250

Fall on same level

2,660

Intentional injury by other person

2,000

[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 105 for police officers during 2020, compared to 86 during 2019.


Sources

Wage and employment estimates come from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) 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 program concepts, see the definitions page and the SOII Handbook of Methods. For more information on CFOI program concepts, see the definitions page and the CFOI Handbook of Methods.

 

Last Modified Date: January 27, 2022