By: Ilana Siyance
New York City’s finest are exiting en masse.
As reported by the NY Post, an astounding 2,465 NYPD officers have filed to leave the department this year. The figures, which are based on the latest pension fund data, indicate a jump of 42% in departures, compared to the same time last year when 1,731 officers exited. What’s even more disheartening is the number of cops calling it quits before reaching 20 years, to become eligible for a full pension. The number of officers making an early exit skyrocketed to 71 percent this year with 1098 early departures, compared to 641 the previous year.
NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the Post that the so-called “voluntary quits” are driving the “stampede”, and it isn’t a big academy class that graduated in 2022, as previously claimed by Chief of Department Kenneth Corey. “We have had retirement waves caused by large academy classes before — they were nothing like this,” said Lynch. “This exodus is the result of cops in the prime of their careers deciding they have had enough. … The NYPD should stop trying to explain this staffing crisis away. Admit there’s a problem and help us fix it,” he said.
In June, the Post had reported that over 1,500 officers had either resigned or retired, setting the department up for the biggest exodus of officers since the statistics have been available. Usually, officers stay on for 20 years or more so as to be eligible for their full pension, which can be up to 50% of their final three years’ average salary. But being a city cop has lost its luster to the level that cops seem to have learned the mantra “get out while you can”. The anti-cop rhetoric, defund the police hostility, bail reform, rising crime and the city’s vaccination mandate are all obvious causes pushing cops over the edge. Former member of NYC’s finest are taking other civil service tests and moving to other police departments in Long Island and other suburbs or in different states, or joining the higher-paying Port Authority Police Department. “They are leaving for other opportunities where they’re paid better, treated better and have a better quality of life,” Lynch said.
“The city is out of control — especially since bail reform,” said a former Queens cop, who asked to be identified only as Joe. “The last few years so many people had been leaving and manpower was so low that you’d go to work and you’d answer 25 to 30 jobs a day and you’re burnt out by the end of the day,” he said, adding, “there was no time for law enforcement” because it would be “radio run, radio run, radio run all day long.” He added that even when he made an arrest, “they were back in the precinct picking up their property the same day.”
Another 30-year-old Queens cop, who called it quits this summer to take a private-sector job after only seven years with the NYPD, told the Post he was tired of the “oppressive work environment.” “As soon as I left, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said, asking to be identified only as Dave to protect his identity. “And the sad part is that the job doesn’t need to be this way. I hear it all the time from friends who went to other police departments. They say, ‘They treat me like an adult here.’”