The mass exodus from the New York Police Department continues, as pension fund data shows 3,054 officers have filed retirement paperwork putting it on a pace for more than 4,000 to leave the NYPD this year.
That number would dwarf the 3,846 departures in 2002, the first full year after the 9/11 terror attacks that left 24 NYPD officers dead, the New York Post reported.
"We keep ringing the alarm bell louder and louder, and every month the numbers get worse," Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the Post. "We have gone from a staffing problem, to a staffing crisis, and now to a full-blown staffing emergency.
"The city must immediately address the low pay and punishing work schedules that are driving cops out."
Crime and cost of living have combined for an overarching exodus from New York City, according to retired NYPD detective Michael Alcazar, who is now an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
"New York has become Dodge City — and those who can are getting out of Dodge — and not just the cops," Alcazar told the Post.
While defund the police movement may have helped get President Joe Biden elected in 2020, crime and staffing issues have forced the NYPD to spend $600 million on uniformed staff overtime in the new fiscal year that began in July, 61% percent more than the $372 million budgeted, according to the Post.
Last year, NYPD overtime cost $670 million, up from $426 million the year prior.
During the rioting during the 2020 presidential election, NYPD overtime cost $721 million.
"I have no regrets about leaving," a 30-year-old told the Post about leaving for the private sector after just seven years in the NYPD. "From what I hear from the many officers I still speak to, the NYPD has actually somehow become worse in just the few months I've been gone. I didn't even know that was possible. The job has become unsustainable for a lot of people — financially, mentally, everything about it.
"Officers want to have pride in what we do, but pride only goes so far when you're constantly being beat down and treated like a child by the department's incompetent and ignorant leaders and disrespected by the public on a daily basis. When the whole system is working against you, when you can't cover your bills, and never see your family, you start to ask 'Why am I doing this anymore?'"
Early retirement is just as popular as just quitting early before reaching 20 years of full pension, too, according to the report.
There have been 1,426 early retirements this year, up 61% from last year's total of 888.
"The NYPD regularly monitors attrition and plans accordingly to address the loss of officers who retire or leave the Department for a variety of reasons," a department spokesman told the Post. "On Wednesday, the NYPD hired 600 individuals who have already begun their training at the Police Academy."
The new additions are barely covering the early retirements — much less the projected 4,000 quits. The NYPD has hired 1,982 recruits this year, according to the report.
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