Tuesday a local news station in Atlanta reported that nearly 30 police officers resigned last month, many times the average number of resignations last year:

A report from the Atlanta Police Department shows 28 officers resigned in August, an additional 11 retired, and three recruits were dismissed for undisclosed reasons. This is the second time APD reported multiple resignations in a short period of time since the beginning of summer. The department said they normally the average resignations for 2019 was 5.58 per month. There were 67 Resignations in 2019.

Sgt. Jason Segura, President of the International Brotherhood of Police Officer, Local 623, said many officers are leaving for other sheriff and police departments.

“Majority of it is just the lack of support,” said Segura. “You have officers that have been trained by the Academy as far as what you can and can’t do, what the law is, what your SOPs are, and when it comes down to it…So, it’s just a lot of confusion.”…

Segura added officers do not feel like the city would support them, should they have to use force during an arrest.

The interim police chief and the mayor aren’t denying that there’s a morale problem in the APD, but both have pointed out that this isn’t a problem that’s limited to Atlanta:

The mayor Wednesday said that what Atlanta’s police force was experiencing was not out of step with other cities, where mass demonstrations have been held over policing and protesters and officers have often clashed.

“We have seen a higher than normal resignation rate in APD, but I can also tell you Atlanta is not alone,” Bottoms said. “Cities across the country are seeing people leave public safety.”

The mayor said she was confident she and interim Chief Rodney Bryant could turn morale around, pointing to the 30 percent pay raise she secured for officers in 2018…

“We’ve faced tough times before, we’ve faced challenges before. We’ve been able to get to the other side of it, and I know we’ll get to the other side of this as well,” Bottoms said. “As it relates to morale, what I’ve been told is that morale is stabilizing within APD.”

They mayor is right that Atlanta is far from being the only major city facing a wave of resignations, retirements and low morale among police.

So it’s fair to say Atlanta isn’t unique, but being one of many cities having a problem retaining police officers doesn’t make things any better for anyone involved. According to an earlier report, Atlanta has staffing allotments for 2,046 officers but currently only has 1,733 officers. Maybe the 30 percent pay hike will help them fill that gap over time but for now it looks like the trend is still working against them.

Here’s the report on Mayor Bottoms’ comments about morale and resignations.