By Benyamin Davidsons
The Big Apple has lost some of its officers in Blue to warmer atmospheres and better pay.
As reported by the NY Post, former New York Police Department officers have called it quits here, and moved to Florida. In what is becoming a national trend, cops are searching for a warmer reception in pro-police communities, and ditching big cities where they had been feeling unwelcome.
Over the past year, 14 cops left the NYPD to join the police force in Lakeland, a small Florida city near Tampa. The Lakeland community, actively recruited NY’s finest, in a social media campaign earlier this year, and in April they sent a delegation to Times Square to recruit in person. In the past two months, 12 of the 14 were wooed by the recruiting campaign.
The respect cops get in Florida “was an eye opener,” marveled former NYPD cop Matthew Spoto said at a September press conference after joining Lakeland’s force. In New York, “it was almost like I was ashamed to be a law enforcement officer,” he said. Spoto said the “tools and laws” given NYC cops don’t facilitate their success.
The pay is better in Lakeland too. NYPD officers start out earning $42,500 per year, as per city data. In Lakeland, the starting salary in the PD is now $53,000, as per the Lakeland Ledger. In the State of Florida, the paycheck seems to go farther too, as there are no city or state income taxes, as the recruiters pointed out.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent executive vaccine mandate for city employees has also added fuel to the fire that NYPD cops have been feeling. By contrast, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday, “No cop, no firefighter, no nurse, nobody should be losing their jobs because of these jabs,” highlighting the welcoming environment in the state. DeSantis has announced that in the next legislative session, they plan to offer a $5,000 bonus for out-of-state cops to relocate. Other states including Washington state, Alaska and Indiana are also targeting NYPD officers for their forces.
“Many New York City cops are weighing our sub-standard salary against the ever-increasing challenges, scrutiny and abuse, and they’re voting with their feet,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told The Post. “They don’t even need to go all the way to Florida. There are many better-paying police departments in and around NYC, and they’re hiring,” said Lynch. “We certainly don’t blame anybody for leaving. But New York City needs to wake up,” added Lynch.