In the face of demoralizing national defunding movements, the New York Police Department has suffered through losing 5,300 uniformed officers to retirement or quitting in 2020, an obscene 75% increase over the year before. The total number of officers leaving amounts to 15% of the entire police force.
As of April 5th of this year, the total number of NYPD officers plummeted to 34,974 from 36,900 in 2019.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, described the epidemic as, “Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section and I don’t blame them. NYPD cops are looking for better jobs with other departments or even embarking on new careers.”
Giacalone expects a “long, hot summer ahead,” as only more and more officers will walk amidst the hostility in New York’s incredibly anti-police climate.
Following the police killing of George Floyd last May, urban areas have been ravaged by riots and violent protesters while support for law enforcement has cratered, leading to waves of disenfranchisement and mass quitting and retirements within police forces. 272 uniformed cops putting in retirement papers from Floyd’s death through June 24th.
At the same time, cities continually introduce suffocating police reform bills that only tie officers’ hands behind their back. In March, the New York City Council voted to eliminate qualified immunity to the NYPD, allowing citizens to sue police officers for excessive force or unlawful searches and seizures.
Former Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) Bernard Kerik explained, “No police officer should work in a jurisdiction where they do not have the support of those they work for. Beginning today, I will no longer recommend young people consider the NYPD as a career.”
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told The New York Post, “The Mayor and City Council are absolutely trying to abolish the police. They’ve kept our pay absurdly low. They’ve ratcheted up our exposure to lawsuits. They’ve demonized us at every opportunity. And they’ve taken away the tools we need to do the job we all signed up for, which is to keep our communities safe.”
The NYPD acknowledged “a surge in the number of officers filing for retirement.”
“While the decision to retire is a personal one and can be attributed to a range of factors, it is a trend that we are closely monitoring,” said a spokeswoman.