The New York Post interviewed 14 officers regarding the 9,180 officers that have left the force since 2020. 36 percent of those officers quit before they were eligible for their full pension.
The department is on track to lose over 4,000 cops in 2023 to retirement or resignations. According to the outlet, by of the end of September, 1,628 officers have retired and an additional 1,426 quit, a staggering figure that is more than the losses of 2019 and 2020 combined. NYPD’s budgeted amount of officers is currently understaffed by approximately 1,600.
In a desperate attempt to stop the exodus, community affairs officers have been tracking down individuals who passed the exam but never proceeded with the hiring process and are encouraging them to join the academy.
“It’s one thing to have a recruitment problem, and it’s one thing to have a retention problem,” said an officer identified as John. “When you have both, it’s just a perfect storm for f*cking disaster.”
Sergeants are deployed to respond to 911 calls because half of the officers on duty at a Brooklyn precinct for each tour are assigned to fixed posts including one in front of the home of a rapper who is an alleged gang member to make sure he isn’t shot again.
William, a cop who works at the precinct, told the outlet, “He’s almost got like private security on his house. We’ve been sitting outside of his house for almost a year. … But, meanwhile, if you call 911, you have to wait for 45 minutes.”
“He’s been shot three separate times, but they’re like, ‘We can’t let nothing happen to him.’ Are you serious? We’re really worried about this guy, not the average person? We use the resources on nonsense.”
Though the officers blamed “anti-police sentiment, criminal justice reforms and progressive politicians” the officers said their primary issues come from within the department itself.
According to the officers, the problems include mismanagement and nepotism, unrealistic expectations, a revolving door of chiefs, and “working among a force that’s turned its back on itself.”
An officer identified as Mark said, “You’re abused by your own brothers and sisters in blue and harassed to the point of having thoughts of suicide, then have to deal with the hate from the community while still dealing with everyday life stresses.”
“I hate this job.”
As crime on the subways continues to spike Mayor Eric Adams responded by deploying an extra 1,000 cops on the transit system every day, the majority of whom are on forced overtime.
“By the time they get home, it’s probably one o’clock, two o’clock. They’re going to come back that night. These guys and girls have kids, they have other responsibilities. They have f*cking pets they have to take out. The job doesn’t care. … And then we wonder why no one wants to be a cop, why we’re bleeding personnel.”
An officer named Jason added, “You have to come back in for the day tour [at 7 a.m.] after getting off of work at 4 am … Why is that OK? You want me to answer a 911 call, God forbid I run into a robbery with a man with a firearm and now I gotta make a split-second decision with three hours of sleep?”
“It is not cognitively safe, but yet the job doesn’t care... You’re expected to be this big, bad police officer, impenetrable, like Superman. You have a tough chest and shield, nothing is supposed to bother you.”
The exponentially increasing overtime is also impacting the city’s budget. According to figures from the Independent Budget Office, the department is on track to spend $600 million on uniformed staff overtime in the 2023 fiscal year, a 61 percent increase from the $372 million budgeted.
Additionally, the state’s criminal justice reforms release suspects back onto the streets.
“By the time I finish the paperwork, he’s out, and I’m still sitting in the precinct processing all the paperwork. It’s disheartening.”
An officer named Michael slammed recent comments from Gov. Kathy Hochul that fears over rising crime are propaganda from Republicans.
“It just shows that she doesn’t have a clue of anything or actually care about the common citizens. Forget about how she feels about cops. She hates us, everything she says about crime is a lie.”
According to the outlet, in 2019, the poverty line in New York City for a family of four was $36,262 but the starting pay for an NYPD officer is only $42,500.
Michael added, “People aren’t going to jeopardize their freedom and their livelihood for what they’re getting paid right now.”
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