Life Expectancy Follow Up
You’ll recall, from a couple of weeks ago, the commentary of Robert Barber, a retired Cranston police captain eight years into a retirement that he began at 50. Well, PolitiFact has looked into his very specific claim that “law-enforcement officers die 10 years earlier than the general population” and found it wanting:
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.)
Even when CalPERS added in all the men who had retired as a result of work-related injuries, the life expectancies of the police officers were essentially identical to other public employees. The life expectancy for someone age 60, regardless of why they stopped working, was 81.8 years, just a tenth of a year lower than for regular workers.
According to other research cited, public safety officers appear only to have shorter life expectancies than other public-sector employees. (Apparently, nobody lives longer than female public-school teachers.)
Why Barber’s statement is only “false,” not “pants on fire,” I’m not sure.