Arkansas is the worst state to be a police officer, according to a Wallethub study.
How much officers get paid and the number of police deaths were taken into consideration for the ranking.
Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department said he wasn’t shocked when he heard about the study, but he says nowadays it takes someone special to put on the badge.
“You do it not because of stats, not because of pay, you do it because you got a servants heart,” explained Page.
While the Natural State may rank at the bottom for officers, page said the stat doesn’t worry him.
“Most people understand it’s a very difficult career,” said Page.
The dangers of wearing the uniform didn’t stop single mom Nikki Williams, who’s been with Bentonville PD for a year.
“I wanted to be a part of the community that I lived in. I wanted to be a part of something that was bigger,” said Williams. “The process was not easy, but it was rewarding and paid off in the end.”
Williams said she never knows what she’ll encounter out on the field.
“What am I about to get into? Is it going to hurt me? Am I going to be able to go home to my kids at the end of the night,” said Williams.
And less than 365 days into the job, she has already experienced a high-risk call.
“On my way there, of course I was scared of what am I about to get into,” said Williams.
Williams was heading to a stabbing, and didn’t know how she’s end up reacting.
Ultimately, all went okay.
“You take that big sigh of relief like, wow I made it through, and I did my job,” said Williams.
Not everyone is like Williams, and Page knows that.
“You have to be really creative, because you have a brand new generation coming into law enforcement that have different things that are important to them, that the previous generation thought was important,” said Page.
Page said on average, officers stick around for three years and that’s not long enough.
“You got to find out what those things are, and what’s going to keep them around. How can you have a sustainable police force if you have people coming in and out like a rotating door,” said Page.
As for Williams, she’s around for the long haul.
“The way that I react to certain things that have come up over the last year, I’ll stay,” said Williams.