Officers are deciding to leave the New York Police Department in record numbers as anti-police sentiment soars across the country as a result of high-profile accusations of police brutality.
In 2020, more than 5,300 New York police officers retired or quit their positions, a 75% increase from the previous year, amid a global pandemic, an increase in violent crimes, and growing anti-cop sentiments, according to the New York Post.
“Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section, and I don’t blame them,” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“NYPD cops are looking for better jobs with other departments or even embarking on new careers,” he added.
The sizable departure included 2,600 officers who quit their jobs and 2,746 who retired, totaling 5,346 (or 15%) of uniformed law enforcement officers across the state.
The previous year, 2019, saw a comparatively low total of 3,053 police officers quitting or retiring — 1,509 of which quit and another 1,544 retired from their law enforcement careers.
The new department data comes just ahead of what Giacalone expects to be a “long, hot summer ahead,” as the New York City Council is expected to hold a vote to remove qualified immunities that have historically been provided for law enforcement officials.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told the New York Post that with previous budget cuts, the loss of plainclothes units, and now the vote to end qualified immunity, “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,” he said.
“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,” Lynch added.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed there has been “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,” the spokesperson added.
Author: Lawrence Richard
Source: Washington Examiner: NYPD experiences mass exodus of police officers with 75% spike in departures and retirements