NYC Mayor Says City Needs More Cops With Force Down More Than 2,000 Officers

"We can use more."
Brooklyn Borough President and New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams (C) speaks to the media alongside other local and law enforcement officials outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC, July 12, 2021, after attending a meeting with US President Joe Biden about reducing gun violence. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday that the city needs more cops as the NYPD remains down more than 2,000 officers since the pandemic.

“We can use more,” Adams told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’m very clear on that.”

“The numbers are down, but based on the numbers, no one does it better than the New York Police Department,” Adams said.

The NYPD has seen a wave of officers resigning and retiring in recent years.

The city currently has 33,582 uniformed officers, down from about 36,000 officers before the pandemic, NYPD data shows.

So far this year, New York’s police force has seen 613 resignations and 1,042 retirements as of August. In January and February, 239 officers resigned, the biggest exodus since 2007, according to NYPD pension data.

In March, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the “NYPD staffing emergency is approaching the point of no return.”

However, the hemorrhaging of officers appears to have slowed from last year, when the NYPD saw a record of more than 3,700 officers leave.

Also this year, the NYPD lowered its fitness standards to bring more women onto the force, a decision the mayor reportedly had to approve.

“We must start recruiting young people to get back into the profession of law enforcement,” Adams, a former police officer, said on Monday.

Violent crime spiked in New York City during the pandemic. The numbers have started decreasing, but some crimes are still rising this year.

Shootings are down to 795 this year, according to police data, but that number is still higher than the city’s 777 in all of 2019.

Murders are down to 312 so far this year, just below New York’s 319 in all of 2019.

Felony and misdemeanor assaults have both risen to a combined nearly 57,000 assaults so far this year. Car thefts have also risen to 12,600 thefts.

In July, Adams downplayed New Yorkers’ concerns about crime, saying all the media coverage “plays on your psyche.”

“They start their day picking up the news, the morning papers… and they see some of the most horrific events that may happen throughout the previous day,” Adams told Fox 5.

However, even Alvin Bragg, the city’s progressive district attorney who has been accused of being soft on crime, said he worries about crime on the subway.


“I know the statistics that transit crime is down, but when one of my family members gets on the train, I, too, get a knot in my stomach,” Bragg said in July.

Adams added on MSNBC on Monday that he believes the problem extends beyond New York City and that “we have a law enforcement crisis across the country.”

In fact, other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, and Nashville, have also struggled with a police shortage in recent years.

Many in law enforcement say departments are suffering from flagging morale thanks to a wave of anti-police sentiment that peaked with the police killing of George Floyd in 2020. In some cases, city councils slashed police budgets, leaving some police chiefs feeling abandoned as they are stretched thin trying to keep residents safe.

Resignations among cops were up 47% last year over 2019, and retirements were up 19% among 200 police forces surveyed by the Police Executive Research Forum.

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