It is well-known that being a police officer can be a dangerous job. When people think about the risks, they often consider the usage of firearms or other weapons by alleged criminals. They imagine a police officer sustaining a firearm wound while trying to stop a bank robbery, for instance.
It is certainly true that these types of injuries happen, but they’re not as common as you may assume. Breaking down the statistics regarding non-fatal injuries for police officers can help to shed some light on the actual risks that they face.
A high injury rate
The first thing to note is that police officers do have a very high injury rate. When tracking how many days were missed due to non-fatal injuries, the overall rate for all occupations in the United States was just 2.8 for every 10,000 full-time equivalent workers. For police officers specifically, it was 23.5. That is nearly 10 times as high, so it’s clear that injuries are happening quite often.
The exact ways that these happen differ. Some of the most common issues were fractures, strains and sprains. Tears, soreness and pain were also reported.
On the whole, these look like the types of injuries that you would expect to find among athletes. This just shows that the physical nature of being a police officer can lead to significant injuries. That officer doesn’t have to be involved in an altercation with a suspect and no weapons have to be used. For instance, an officer could sprain their ankle while doing physical fitness or an officer could suffer a fractured arm during training.
Police officers who are hurt in the line of duty or while they are on the clock need to know exactly what legal options they have for compensation, health care and other benefits.