The members of the NYPD grew so disenchanted with their jobs in 2020 that over 5,300 uniformed officers either retired or quit, an astonishing 75% increase over the year before, amounting to 15% of the total number of officers on the force. The impetus for the officers quitting seemed to be the death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed; between May 25 and June 24, 2020, a whopping 272 officers left the force in one month.
2,600 officers quit and 2,746 filed for retirement, according to the New York Post. The 5,346 officers who left the force were nearly 2,300 more than left the force in 2019, when 1,509 officers quit and 1,544 filed for retirement.
This year, over 830 officers have left the NYPD. Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, warned, “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.”
In March, the New York City Council voted for various police reform bills, among which was one to eliminate giving qualified immunity to the NYPD, thus permitting citizens to sue police officers for excessive force or unlawful searches and seizures.
Former Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) Bernard Kerik reacted to the City Council’s decision, asserting, “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.”
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. https://t.co/eX85GZB9vn
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) March 25, 2021
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said, “Ask any police chief that doesn’t have the final say on discipline and you will find a chief who has had officers returned to duty that shouldn’t have been, and in many of those cases more acts of misconduct by an officer the chief wanted to fire.”
The Post spoke to Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, who stated:
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.
“One disgusted NYPD sergeant said detectives and deputy inspectors have told him, ‘I’ve had enough’ and ‘This isn’t the job I signed up for.’ The sergeant fumed that ‘elected officials are cradling those causing complete chaos on our streets and taking every measure to literally handcuff our officers,’” the Post reported.