Months of protesters pushing to “defund the police,” and politicians bending over backward to appease them, have taken a toll on America’s Finest.
Since protests began in late May after the death of George Floyd, over a dozen chiefs and record numbers of officers have retired or resigned in cities all over the country.
Here in the city, more than 2,000 members of the NYPD put in their retirement paperworkthese last seven months, an 87 percent jump over the same period last year.
Protests over the death of Daniel Prude moved Rochester’s police chief and his whole command staff to step down rather than let critics “destroy” their characters by attributing the mistakes of individual officers to the whole department.
Politicians who try to appease the protesters by cutting police funding are another morale-killer. Seattle’s first black woman police chief resigned in August after the City Council voted to reduce her budget by $4 million and cut 100 positions. She cited the “overarching lack of respect for the officers.”
Her city’s mayor had ordered the East Precinct shut down to pander to anarchists who took over several blocks to create the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone — only to eventually turn to police to clear out the loons after two teens got killed in the chaos zone.
A record 39 Seattle PD officers left in September, with devastating exit interviews. One cop said Seattle had become a “socialist city” using restrictions against cops to promote a “political agenda.”
San Francisco — whose radical DA has effectively decriminalized a host of public-order offenses — has already lost twice as many officers as in all 2019. Asheville, NC, has seen 13 percent of its force quit.
This, when the nation needs police most. The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice reports that homicides for June-July-August were 53 percent higher than in 2019, even as the pandemic should’ve depressed violent crime.
One Portland cop said it best in a letter to fellow officers after retiring: “It is up to us to tell the citizens that mob rule does not get to decide policy and law, but democracy must.”
It’s hard to blame officers for refusing to stay on the job when they’re slandered by protesters and hobbled by politicians. Who needs to be a scapegoat? But the loss of experienced professionals is a nightmare for public safety — since new cops are more likely to make mistakes.
The protesters may think they’re getting what they want, but the reality is that everyone but the criminals are losers here.
*story by The New York Post