Even with those new recruits, the department is at half of of the manpower it needs to fill 4,000 open positions.
The mass exodus of officers leaving the NYPD started in 2019. The number of resignations and retirements has increased every year since.
The Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents 24,000 members of NYPD, cites the following numbers:
- 3,054 people quit or retired this year
- An average of 339 people leave each month
- 4,071 are likely to have left the profession by the end of the year
According to Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, officers are leaving the city and opting for the suburbs, where he says the pay is often better.
“They’re leaving here, taking our training, the money we spent and send them elsewhere,” Lynch said. “Why? They’re not competitively paid. They’re not respected on the street.”
Calls to defund the police, losing the support of elected officials and the respect of the public is also driving officers to explore new careers.
Lynch says bail reform efforts haven’t made it any easier.
“We’ll arrest someone and they will come back with their property voucher before we finish processing the paperwork,” he said.
Now officers are being asked to work more overtime to beef up patrols in the city subway system, where crime is up almost 42%.
Lynch says the long hours and short pay are affecting morale.
“We know what the problems are and we even know what the answer is,” Lynch said. “Do we have the courage to do it?”
Fewer officers are on the job but they’re still making a difference, NYPD Deputy Chief Kenneth Corey said.
“In 2001, we had 9,000 more police officers on the street than we do today, so we have 9,000 fewer officers making the same number of high-quality arrests as were made 21 years ago,” Corey said.
Retired NYPD Detective and John Jay College of Criminal Justice Michael Alcazar said it’s an issue that New York City Mayor and former NYPD Capt. Eric Adams inherited from a previous administration,.
“It’s still a work in progress for him and he got hit with a heavy task …” Alcazar said. “It seems like he’s struggling a little bit to combat the violence affecting New York City.”