Police Departures Soar Nationwide Amid Rising Criticism

Print More

The number of police officers retiring has soared amid a chorus of anti-police rhetoric that’s become increasingly loud over the past year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. In Chicago, 560 officers retired in 2020 from a department that had 13,100 officers as of March. That’s about 15 percent more cops retiring than during the previous year, when retirements rose nearly 30 percent. In New York City, 2,500 cops retired last year, nearly double the number in 2019. The city has 34,500 uniformed officers. In Minneapolis, about 40 officers retired last year, and another 120 took leaves of absence. That’s nearly 20 percent of a police department with about 840 officers in the city that touched off anti-police protests nationwide after George Floyd’s death

“It’s serious,” said Michael Lappe of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, which oversees police pensions. “A lot of these people aren’t retiring. They’re quitting.” Minneapolis officials are asking surrounding communities to place officers on joint law enforcement teams amid the flood of departures. The Minneapolis Police Department is curtailing some work it normally does. “The bike cops and the community engagement has been done away with,” said police spokesman John Elder. “Our homeless missions were scrapped. Our 911 response and our investigations are the focus now.” In Chicago, some cops say last summer’s riots and demonstrations, which saw Black Lives Matter community activists call for defunding police, were demoralizing. They say it also didn’t help police morale that more than 1,000 officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Some officers said the criminal justice reform bill that passed this week could be the final straw that could prompt them to leave. The bill would make it easier to file complaints against police officers. John Catanzara of the Fraternal Order of Police said critics “have just made policing in this city and state near-impossible. They have given control to the criminals.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *