New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) has experienced a 411 percent spike in the number of officers filing their retirement paperwork.
The surge of retirement filings is coming in faster than the department can process them, so the NYPD is working to put a cap on the number of applicants who can submit retirement paperwork, the New York Post reported.
“Apparently, the pension section is only taking a certain amount of people per day and I think they are backed up till late July, early August,” one of many officers waiting in line to submit his retirement filing told the paper.
“That’s why you don’t see like 100 a day, because they are only doing like 35 to 40 a day, by appointment,” he said.
A lack of overtime pay, a lack of respect for their years of service, and a growing anti-police sentiment from community members and government officials have had an impact of many veteran officers’ decisions to retire, the New York Post reported.
On June 30, the New York City Council voted to slash the NYPD’s budget by $1 billion, CNN reported.
“I am excited to say that we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution, and at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe, and we make sure that our officers are on patrol where we need them around this city,” de Blasio said of the defunding measure, according to The Hill.
There has been a 44 percent increase in shootings in New York this year in comparison to the same period in 2019, CNN reported.
Murders are up a staggering 23 percent.
“This is the best time to leave,” one officer told the New York Post. “You’ve padded the numbers as high as you can pad them.”
“There’s just droves and droves of people retiring,” one officer said. “But there’s no surprise here. Who the hell wants to stay on this job? Why would you want to stay on this job when people don’t appreciate what you do?”
Officers are also concerned about rumors that “special assignment money” for sergeants and lieutenants and “grade promotions” for detectives are next on the chopping block, the New York Post reported.
“You have to be crazy to stay on a job where you are losing money, abused by the people you are trying to protect and not appreciated by the politicians,” a Brooklyn officer said.
“It is frustrating — you work on a case and then the suspect is let go,” a 25-year veteran-of-the-force told the New York Post. “Why put your job on the line, when no one appreciates you or has your back?”
The NYPD confirmed it is experiencing a retirement “surge,” according to the paper.
According to an NYPD spokesperson, officers who do not plan to retire in the next 30 days are being asked to hold onto their filings until their retirement date is just 30 days away in order for staff to handle the massive influx.
Officers who plan to retire in the next 30 days are not being turned away, she said.
“While the decision to retire is a personal one and can be attributed to a range of factors, it is a troubling trend that we are closely monitoring,” the department spokesperson told the New York Post.
New York Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Pay Lynch blamed the exodus on lawmakers, who he claims have “completely dismantled our justice system.”
“The question on every police officer’s mind [is] how are we supposed to do our job in this environment?” Lynch said. “And now that crime is out of control, they want to blame us for that, too.”
In addition to the spike in officers seeking to retire, officers with far less time on the job are also looking to relocate.
“Whether we have 20 years on the job or only two, police officers are tired of trying to sort out these mixed messages,” Lynch told the New York Post. “Many of us are looking elsewhere.”
Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco said that officers are leaving because they have been “demoralized and abandoned” by government leaders.
“This is not about overtime now,” Turco told the New York Post. “They feel abandoned by the silent majority and they are leaving. They don’t feel appreciated.”
At total of 503 NYPD officers filed for retirement between May 25 and July 3, according to the New York Post.
Between June 29 and July 6 alone, 179 officers submitted their retirement paperwork.
“Of course cops are retiring at a higher rate,” Captains Endowment Association President Chris Monahan told CNN. “We’ve been abandoned by the NYPD and elected officials.”