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More than 5,300 NYPD uniformed officers retired or put in their papers to leave in 2020 — a 75 percent spike from the year before, department data show.
The exodus — amid the pandemic, anti-cop hostility, riots and a skyrocketing number of NYC shootings — saw 2,600 officers say goodbye to the job and another 2,746 file for retirement, a combined 5,346.
In 2019, the NYPD had 1,509 uniformed officers leave and 1,544 file for retirement, for a total of 3,053.
The departures and planned departures of 5,300 officers represents about 15 percent of the force. Already, as of April 5, the NYPD headcount of uniformed officers has dropped to 34,974 from 36,900 in 2019.
Through April 21 of this year, 831 cops have retired or filed to leave — and many more are expected to follow suit in the current anti-cop climate, according to Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section and I don’t blame them,” Giacalone said. “NYPD cops are looking for better jobs with other departments or even embarking on new careers.”
The flurry of Finest farewells began after the Minnesota police-involved killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, with 272 uniformed cops putting in retirement papers from then through June 24, the NYPD data show.
Giacalone expects a “long, hot summer ahead,” — with the City Council vote to remove qualified immunity from the NYPD — making it far easier to personally sue a cop and turning “the job [into] … a minefield.”
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told The Post, “The Mayor and City Council are absolutely trying to abolish the police. They’ve kept our pay absurdly low. They’ve ratcheted up our exposure to lawsuits. They’ve demonized us at every opportunity. And they’ve taken away the tools we need to do the job we all signed up for, which is to keep our communities safe.
“Now the NYPD is spending money on slick recruiting ads to replace the experienced cops who are leaving in droves. City Hall should just admit the truth: police abolition-through-attrition is their goal. They won’t stop until the job has become completely unbearable, and they’re getting closer to that goal with every passing day.”
In an op-ed in The Post earlier this month, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, noted that “in response to last year’s rising tide of sheer anarchy,” the City Council “slashed the NYPD’s budget and did away with a highly successful plainclothes anti-crime unit.” Mullins said ending immunity “won’t hold accountable the bad apples among cops, as some politicians insist. It will merely stop good people from wanting to become police officers.”
One disgusted NYPD sergeant said detectives and deputy inspectors have told him, “I’ve had enough” and “This isn’t the job I signed up for.” The sergeant fumed that “elected officials are cradling those causing complete chaos on our streets and taking every measure to literally handcuff our officers.”
The NYPD acknowledged “a surge in the number of officers filing for retirement.”
“While the decision to retire is a personal one and can be attributed to a range of factors, it is a trend that we are closely monitoring,” said a spokeswoman.
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