More New York City police officers are abandoning their blue uniforms before getting their pensions, the city’s largest police union charges. Union officials said 506 cops resigned from the 35,000-member force lasts year, a 20 percent jump from the 415 who handed in their papers in 2015. The number of resignations has increased each year since 2011. Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), said cops are leaving the department in droves, reports the New York Daily News.
“Eight out of 10 PBA members said in a survey that they would leave the job if they could,” Lynch said. “The latest resignation numbers are proof that many are doing just that, often to take a better-paying law enforcement job here in the New York City area.” Mayor Bill de Blasio called Lynch’s argument “a classic union play” as contracts are negotiated. “The mission of the PBA, sadly, is often to denigrate the work of our own police force, which I’ve never understood, and to lower morale rather than improve it, which I’ve never understood,” the mayor said. The city’s police department has long accused other law enforcement agencies — particularly Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island — of poaching young cops after they graduate from the Police Academy. The starting salary for an New York cop is $41,975. The two Long Island police forces have provide large raises so that cops can earn over $100,000 within 10 years.