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Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

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U.S.

Police agencies in New York, nationwide endure massive exodus

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

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There’s a nationwide shortage of law enforcement officers, and it doesn’t look like it will be over anytime soon. Over the past two years, a record number of people left policing.

In Seattle, more than 250 officers have left since 2020. In Minneapolis, there are so few officers on the street that the police chief there said they mostly just respond to 911 calls. In New York City, almost 1600 officers either resigned or retired so far this year. That’s up nearly 40% since last year and it’s the largest mass exodus for NYPD on record.

In a 2021 survey, the Police Executive Research Forum showed retirements increased 45% and resignations jumped almost 20% over the previous year. 194 law enforcement agencies responded to the PERF survey. The research firm said while not a representative sample of police agencies nationwide, the responses reflected a mix of departments of all sizes.

“We have seen an approximate 40% reduction in applicant packets this last fiscal year,” one respondent said. “In addition, we’re seeing fewer ‘above average’ candidates. The current rhetoric and negativity surrounding law enforcement is having a negative impact on the number and quality of applicants we recruit.”

Not only are more officers leaving policing, but there are also fewer people wanting to become officers as well.

The Police Executive Research Forum shows a 5% overall decrease in hiring. The bulk of the decrease came from larger agencies, as smaller agencies actually reported seeing an increase in hiring.

For the most part, the data shows officers are leaving the industry altogether and not just transferring to different departments.

“We’ve had a more than 50% reduction in the number of applicants for the recruit academy, from an average of 450 per year, to only 205 in 2020,” another survey respondent said. “We’ve seen a 100% reduction in qualified lateral recruits, with zero hired in 2020, compared to an average of 3 to 4 annually since 2008.”

COVID-19 pandemic fatigue, forced overtime, low morale, and a changing national climate on policing are some of the reasons given for the shortage.

RYAN ROBERTSON: THERE’S A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AND IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT WILL BE OVER ANYTIME SOON.

OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, A RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE LEFT POLICING.

IN SEATTLE, MORE THAN 250 OFFICERS HAVE LEFT SINCE 2020.

IN MINNEAPOLIS, THERE ARE SO FEW OFFICERS ON THE STREET, THE POLICE CHIEF THERE SAYS THEY MOSTLY JUST RESPOND TO 911 CALLS.THERE’S A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AND IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT WILL BE OVER ANYTIME SOON.
OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, A RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE LEFT POLICING.
IN SEATTLE, MORE THAN 250 OFFICERS HAVE LEFT SINCE 2020.
IN MINNEAPOLIS, THERE ARE SO FEW OFFICERS ON THE STREET, THE POLICE CHIEF THERE SAYS THEY MOSTLY JUST RESPOND TO 911 CALLS.
IN NEW YORK CITY, ALMOST 1600 OFFICERS EITHER RESIGNED OR RETIRED SO FAR THIS YEAR. THAT’S UP NEARLY 40% SINCE LAST YEAR AND IT’S THE LARGEST MASS EXODUS FOR NYPD ON RECORD.
NOT ONLY ARE MORE OFFICERS LEAVING, THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE WANTING TO BECOME OFFICERS AS WELL WITH ONE STUDY SHOWING A 5% OVERALL DECREASE IN HIRING.
THE POLICE EXECUTIVE RESEARCH FORUM SAYS PANDEMIC FATIGUE, FORCED OVERTIME, LOW MORALE, AND A CHANGING NATIONAL CLIMATE ON POLICING ARE SOME OF THE REASONS FOR THE SHORTAGE.

IN NEW YORK CITY, ALMOST 1600 OFFICERS EITHER RESIGNED OR RETIRED SO FAR THIS YEAR. THAT’S UP NEARLY 40% SINCE LAST YEAR AND IT’S THE LARGEST MASS EXODUS FOR NYPD ON RECORD.

NOT ONLY ARE MORE OFFICERS LEAVING, THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE WANTING TO BECOME OFFICERS AS WELL WITH ONE STUDY SHOWING A 5% OVERALL DECREASE IN HIRING.

THE POLICE EXECUTIVE RESEARCH FORUM SAYS PANDEMIC FATIGUE, FORCED OVERTIME, LOW MORALE, AND A CHANGING NATIONAL CLIMATE ON POLICING ARE SOME OF THE REASONS FOR THE SHORTAGE.