For many New York City police officers, the realization has finally hit them like a ton of bricks. Literally. Neither the city, the mayor, nor the command staff has their backs, so officers are deciding to get out while the gettin’s good.
Believe me when I tell you, this is not just a New York phenomenon. It’s everywhere.
The flurry of Finest farewells began after the police-involved killing of George Floyd on May 25, with 272 uniformed cops putting in retirement papers from then through June 24, the NYPD says.
That’s a 49 percent spike from the 183 officers who filed during the same period last year.
Dan Bongino said on his podcast a week or two ago he is hearing the numbers are closer to 600; which includes resignations and retirements. He’s former NYPD, so he may have the inside scoop.
An NYPD source suggested the recent departures could signal a coming crisis for the 36,000-member department, which also faces a $1 billion budget reduction amid the “defund the police” furor.
One of my fellow detectives brought this to my attention, and when I checked up on it, I was stunned. Even before the beginning of the Floyd riots, we have had many officers either file for early retirement, or just out and out quit. The department releases a teletype message at the end of every day which shows the status of sick officers, resignations, and retirements. There are always a handful of people on the list, but there have been no names on the teletype at all last week. That is very unusual.
We know there are cops leaving for the same reasons the NYPD officers are leaving: no one has our backs here, either. The detective threw out this question: “We know people are leaving, so why are the teletypes more or less blank? Could it be so many are leaving that the department doesn’t want to post the numbers? Do they not want a panic?”
Good question. Everyone can read the daily teletype, so does the department want to admit people are leaving in droves? Do they think that would lead to even more officers fleeing the force? It certainly sounds plausible.
Also, I have heard a few blue city police departments – including NYC – have been considering a sick out during the July 4th weekend. No one in my department has suggested this, as far as I know, but it wouldn’t work here anyway. Our young cops are all about the job, and love pleasing their masters. Not that it would matter, since I’m off this weekend, but I figured you should know what we’ve heard.
UPDATE: Many thanks to CBD from Ace of Spades for the linkage!