Amid all of the protests and moves to “defund the police” in New York City over the past month or two, it’s probably not much of a surprise to learn that a significant number of police officers are packing it in. Those who have twenty years on the force and are eligible for vested retirement plans have been increasingly ready to end their service in Gotham and seek greener pastures elsewhere. But for any wishing to do so in the next month or two, they may need to prepare for an extended wait. The city has placed a limit on how many police officers can file for retirement each day, citing a variety of reasons. (NY Post)
New York’s Finest are putting in for retirement faster than the NYPD can handle — citing a lack of respect and the loss of overtime pay, The Post has learned.
A surge of city cops filing for retirement during the past week more than quadrupled last year’s number — as the city grapples with a surge of shootings — and the stampede caused a bottleneck that’s forcing others to delay putting in their papers, officials and sources said.
The NYPD said Wednesday that 179 cops filed for retirement between June 29 and Monday, an astounding 411-percent increase over the 35 who filed during the same time period in 2019.
What the NYPD is dealing with here is a perfect storm, largely of the city’s own making. As noted in the linked article, there has been a more than 400% increase in the number of officers filing for retirement as compared to the same one-week period last year. For the prolonged period from May 25th (the date of George Floyd’s death) to July 3rd, there was a 75% increase in retirement requests. But at the same time, the personnel office that processes such requests has lost all of their overtime authorization because of the recent cuts to the police budget (Defund the Police!) signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio this month.
That means that more request forms are in the queue while the office’s capacity to process applications is decreased. It’s something of a vicious circle because most of the cops on the beat have had their overtime cut as well, and that’s being cited as one of the common factors in their decisions to retire. Of course, there are other reasons as well. One officer waiting to file his retirement papers was quoted as saying, “Why would you want to stay on this job when people don’t appreciate what you do?”
Among the cops who are too young or don’t have enough time on the job to retire, some are looking at simply resigning and moving away if they have the means to do so. And all of this is taking place just as the city is experiencing a historic increase in shootings as well as a spike in property crimes. The plainclothes anti-crime unit was disbanded recently, leading officials from the police unions to wonder just who was running the show at this point and what they could possibly be thinking?
In retrospect, this sequence of events should have been entirely predictable. The relationship between the Mayor and the NYPD has been in the tank since shortly after de Blasio first took office. New York cops have physically turned their backs on the Mayor when he showed up to speak at funerals for fallen officers. And when he immediately jumped in to take the side of the protesters over his own cops, that was obviously a bridge too far for many of them.
Bleeding out your police force just as your city is experiencing rapidly rising violent crime rates is a recipe for disaster. If Bill de Blasio isn’t careful, Gotham is going to turn back into a larger version of Baltimore. And then you’ll really see people fleeing the Big Apple. And I’m not just talking about the cops.