Amid anti-police sentiment, reforms in how police operate, and renewed vigor to prosecute police misconduct, retirements and departures in the New York Police Department (NYPD) have skyrocketed.
According to the New York Post, more than 5,300 NYPD officers have either retired or left the force, a 75% increase from 2019 when 3,053 officers departed. Approximately 2,600 officers have left the force while another 2,746 have filed for retirement.
Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant, told Yahoo News the anti-police climate in the city has led to a significant increase in departures.
“Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section and I don’t blame them,” Giacalone said. “NYPD cops are looking for better jobs with other departments or even embarking on new careers.”
The NYPD has faced increased scrutiny among the public over its tactics last summer during the Black Lives Matter protests. A report by the city’s Department of Investigations on the NYPD’s response to the protests stated the department lacked a defined strategy and escalated tensions with its use of force.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the NYPD over its handling of the protests. Last month, the New York City Council enacted a series of police reforms including the end of qualified immunity and a mandate that all NYPD officers must live in New York City.
Giacalone told Yahoo he expects another tumultuous summer after the city council made those changes because it’ll not be easier to sue officers, which will turn “the job into a minefield.”
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, who slammed Democratic policing policies during a speech at the Republican National Convention last year, told the Post between budget cuts, the loss of plainclothes units, and the end of qualified immunity, the city is trying to abolish the NYPD.
“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,” Lynch told the Post.
“Now the NYPD is spending money on slick recruiting ads to replace the experienced cops who are leaving in droves,” Lynch added. “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.”