Overall, they concluded there isn't much difference in life expectancy. I have tried in the past to get the data from unions that suggests otherwise, but all they can point me to are statements from union officials referring to other statements from union officials. CalPERS produced a power point that debunks the myth about the short-living police officer. So there you have it. Don't believe it next time a union officials tells you that police live shorter lives than the rest of us.
Whether a person was age 50, 55, 60 or 65, the life expectancies of the police officers were slightly higher than for other workers. For example, men age 60 who had taken regular retirement were projected to live to age 82.7, versus age 81.9 for workers who were not in the public safety field. (Firefighter rates were close to those for police officers.)
The Police Union Myth That Won't Go Away
Police officials frequently claim that they deserve their enormous pension benefits because they die early -- presumably from the out-sized stresses inherent in their job. Usually, police tell me they die three to five years after retirement. In Providence, a police official wrote in a recent Journal column that police die 10 years after retirement. Kudos to the Journal for fact-checking this point and producing this piece, which includes information I sent along from CalPERS and elsewhere. The Journal declared the police officials' statement to be "false" and wrote (regarding one report):
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