After the death of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and the escalating tension between citizens and police officers that resulted, 272 uniformed cops have put in retirement papers since that time through June 24, the New York Police Department told the New York Post.
The mass exodus is a 49% spike from the 183 officers that filed during the same time period last year. The department is concerned about shortages according to a source, while the department is also facing the possibility of a $1 billion budget cut amid cries to defund the police.
“We are worried about a surge in attrition reducing our headcount beyond what we can sustain without new recruits, and are afraid the City Council has not taken the surge into account,” an NYPD source said.
Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association said morale is at its lowest levels in 38 years and that nearly 80 of his members have recently filed for retirement.
“People have had enough and no longer feel it’s worth risking their personal well-being for a thankless position,” Mullins said.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests, calling for police departments to be defunded, and cops no longer feel confident doing their job. Police officers feel frustrated over the lack of support from politicians and wonder if one wrong move while on duty and they end up arrested for a crime.
Retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, Joseph Giacalone, told the Post he’s received three emails from students in the last week asking about career changes.
That while he “never discourages anyone” about becoming a cop, Giacalone does suggest that “if you have your time in and have an opportunity to do something else, get out while you can.”