By Hadassa Kalatizadeh
The former commissioner of New York City’s police force is warning of coming ‘crisis’ level shortages in the police department ranks.
As reported by the NY Post, Bill Bratton issued the downbeat forecast, saying that record NYPD retirements and resignations and the movement to defund the police will lead to dire staff shortages. On Sunday morning, in a radio interview on WABC’s “The Cats Roundtable”, Bratton pointed to the NYC budget finalized last week by the city council and Mayor Eric Adams, which modestly increases police funding but does not add more NYPD staff. “Mayor Adams was not able to get an increase in the size of the department with the City Council. He didn’t try to get an increase because he knew that the progressive wing of that City Council, which is 32 of its 51 members, under no circumstance would support more money for more cops,” Bratton said, referring to the body’s Progressive Caucus.
“So, effectively, the department is growing smaller, not getting larger,” Bratton told host John Catsimatidis. “You can offset that with the use of overtime, but the overtime becomes a problem because [some] officers [will] make so much from overtime this year that a lot of them are going to retire next year because their pension is based on their last couple of years of salary plus overtime.”
A whopping 520 police officers have resigned and more than 1,000 have retired just as of May 31, as NYPD pension statistics obtained by the Post. Last month, the Post reported that 1,596 officers were resigning or retiring in 2022 – making it the biggest exodus since the data was collected. The departures show a 38% increase compared to the same period in 2021, when 1,159 cops stepped down, and a 46% increase compared to the same time frame in 2020, when 1,092 left the department.
Bratton, who headed the NYPD twice as well as police departments in Boston and Los Angeles, predicted that NYC cops will continue to drop out because “they’re going to be very frustrated with the way things are going.” He said this will lead to a long-term shortage of cops throughout the five boroughs. “I predict a crisis in terms of manpower over the next several years, because this City Council just will not approve additional police officers,” he said. “How quickly the progressive wing has turned on the Police Department,” Bratton lamented. “They wanted more cops in 2014, because they understood the importance of it. Meanwhile, the cast of characters in the City Council today — I don’t know where they all came from — they will not support more police.”
As per the Post, Mayor Adams, himself a former NYPD captain, shrugged off the exodus of NYC’s finest, saying he’s not too concerned. He insisted that it will be a “great opportunity to diversify” the police force.