Mounted police officers usually earn more in New York, California and Illinois.
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Mounted police officers provide police departments with a more visible and flexible way for patrolling streets and crowds. These officers can pursue suspects more quickly and interact better with people, dissolving typical social barriers. Most work in crowded venues, including downtown and at parks, parades, fairs and large sporting events. They earn above-average salaries.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a mounted police officer is $70, 000 as of 2013, according to the jobsite Indeed. The minimum requirements for becoming a mounted police officer are a high school diploma and completion of police academy training. Applicants must be 21 to be eligible for the academy, which can take up to six months to complete. Mounted officers must also complete training on horse care, understanding their limitations, and crowd patrol on horseback. Most departments prefer hiring those who have worked at least a couple years as motorcycle cops, according to LawEnforcementEdu.net. Mounted police officers must also be compassionate, perceptive, calm under pressure and physically fit. Other essential requirements are leadership, communication and multitasking skills.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for mounted police officers varied significantly in all U.S. regions, according to Indeed. In the South region, they earned the highest salaries, $82, 000, in Washington, D.C., and the lowest, $59, 000, in Louisiana. Those in the West made $47, 000 to $76, 000 per year in Hawaii and California, respectively. These officers earned $60, 000 to 84, 000 in Maine and New York, respectively, which represented the lowest and highest salaries in the Northeast. In the Midwest, they earned the most in Illinois and least in Nebraska and South Dakota - $75, 000 and $53, 000, respectively.
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A mounted police officer may earn more with certain employers. For example, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned the highest salaries, $62, 810, working for state government agencies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mounted police officers may also earn more when employed by the state government. They also earn more in New York and Illinois because living costs are higher in those two states. A mounted police officer earning $70, 000 in Nashville would need to make $169, 800 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In Chicago, he'd need to earn $89, 013 - or 27 percent more.
The BLS projects only a 7 percent increase in jobs for police and detectives from 2010 to 2020, which is only half the average growth rate of 14 percent for all occupations. City budgets may limit the hiring of mounted police officers, although jobs may be available for those interested in this career because of a high industry turnover. The growing threat of terrorism may also increase jobs for mounted police officers, as they'll be needed for large gatherings: political gatherings, parades, fairs, parks, sporting events and the Olympics.