(RoyalPatriot.com )- With the hostility against law enforcement increasing around the country, police officers are leaving their departments in droves. In New York City, this is becoming a major problem.
According to data from the New York Police Department, more than 5,300 uniformed officers either retired or submitted their papers to leave the department during 2020. That represents an increase of 75% from 2019.
In total, 2,600 NYPD officers left the force in 2020, with another 2,746 filing for retirement. In 2019, those numbers were 1,509 and 1,544, respectively.
The 2020 departures and planned departures represent roughly 15% of the overall NYPD force. As of April 5 of this year, the department has 34,974 uniformed officers on staff, compared to 36,900 in 2019.
This isn’t a trend that’s slowing down, either. Through April 21 of this year, another 831 police officers have either retired from the force or filed their paperwork to retire.
Many more are expected to do the same because of the anti-police climate in the country. That’s according to Joseph Giacalone, who is a retired sergeant formerly with the NYPD who serves as an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
As he explained:
“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.”
The first “wave” of the exodus happened shortly after George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis. Between that date — May 25, 2020 — and June 24, 2020, NYPD data shows that 272 uniformed officers submitted their retirement papers. That’s roughly nine officers submitting retirement paperwork per day.
Giacalone told the New York Post that he expects the situation to get even worse this summer, especially since the City Council voted to remove qualified immunity from the department. That means it’s now much easier for someone to sue a cop personally, which will turn “the job [into] … a minefield.
Pat Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, told the 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.
“Now, the NYPD is spending money on slick recruiting ads to replace the experienced cops who are leaving in droves. City Hall should just admit the truth: Police abolition-through-attrition is their goal. They won’t stop until the job has become completely unbearable, and they’re getting closer to that goal with every passing day.”
Through a spokeswoman, the NYPD acknowledged the “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.”
In an extremely dense city such as New York, the lack of police presence could cause many unsafe conditions — especially as people get outside during the warmer months.