The state of policing in America continues to be viewed under a microscope and as more police-involved killings of unarmed Americans remain in mainstream headlines, citizens and lawmakers alike are questioning everything from the evolving roles of officers in society to their pay rates.
In police departments across the country, officers can clear well over $100,000 in a year. In Seattle, more than 370 police officers made at least $200,000 in 2019, and in San Francisco during the same period, more than 600 officers received a similar salary. Out of the 20 highest paid city workers in Baltimore, 15 of them were police officers.
While other industries lag or completely scale back their pay, on a nationwide average, officer salaries continue to rise — thanks in part to the strong unions backing them. Police unions have become prolific salary negotiators and are known to pursue incentivized perks that allow officers to collect even bigger checks. 
The biggest contributor to the stark rise in police salaries: paid overtime. 
To find out how police unions rose to such power, click here or watch the video below.
Video produced by Karin Shedd. Article written by Lawrence Banton.