NYPD retirements are surging, the city Independent Budget Office reports. And cops’ statements to The Post leave no doubt about why: Morale is through the floor.
In all, the department is already down 2,700 cops from last year’s 36,900 total — and likely to continue dropping at least as long as Bill de Blasio stays in office.
Some 2,400 officers have put in their paperwork so far this year, vs. 2,000 in the same period in 2019. The pandemic canceled one Police Academy class in March, and rioter-appeasing “defund the police” moves canceled another in July.
Thanks to the retirement surge, one 900-member class will start this month — not enough to overcome the rush to the exits.
Mayor de Blasio’s not the only problem: The City Council’s law, advertised as “anti-chokehold” but so expansive as to criminalize almost any subduing of a suspect, puts officers at personal legal risk if they physically engage a perp who resists arrest. And NYPD brass, obliged to try to make the mayor’s orders work, aren’t winning a lot of love, either.
Public disrespect for police is rampant — and not just 2019’s “water bucket” assaults. Any officer making an arrest can suddenly be surrounded by a jeering crowd and cameraphones — that may include some who’d get physical if they see an opportunity.
Oh, and protesters who literally spit on cops — in the middle of a pandemic — face revolving-door “justice.” Thanks to the state’s still-broken “no-bail” law, all manner of perps walk free soon after arrest.
Commanders understandably push street cops to keep doing their jobs — but they can’t pretend the politicians will have an officer’s back if something goes wrong, so the force winds up resenting the brass and still playing it safe.
Unless and until city leaders get serious about supporting the police, the spiral downward is all too likely to continue.