Data obtained by The New York Post on Saturday, November 25, reveals that New York’s police force is grappling with a significant exodus, with concerns mounting that the situation may worsen.
The city’s plan to cancel the next five Police Academy classes is poised to shrink the nation’s largest police force to its smallest size in decades.
According to NYPD pension data, 2,516 officers have left the force this year, marking the fourth-highest number in the past decade. This figure represents a staggering 43% increase compared to 2018, before the onset of the pandemic and rising crime rates in the city.
The data further highlights a concerning trend of officers leaving before reaching the 20 years required for their full pensions. The number has surged from 509 in 2020 to 1,040 this year, indicating a disturbing 104% increase.
A total of 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year. Photo Credit: Stephen Yang
The impact of this exodus is taking a toll on the remaining officers, who are facing “inhumane amounts of forced overtime,” warns Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry. To address the issue, the union proposes a flexible schedule involving longer hours on fewer days.
In a surprising move, 21 officers reportedly left the NYPD in a two-day period earlier this year to join the MTA. Even former NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell resigned in June, echoing a trend of departures among the city’s law enforcement.
One officer, requesting anonymity, disclosed plans to leave the force after 20 years, a sentiment shared by many in his 2004 police academy class. He cited the crushing workload and expressed concern that the situation will worsen following the cancellation of the next five Police Academy classes.
The planned budget cuts, announced by Mayor Adams on November 16, will reduce the department to just 29,000 officers by the end of fiscal year 2025—the lowest level since the mid-90s. The mayor attributes these drastic measures to the city’s multi-billion-dollar migrant crisis.
Amid rising frustrations, assaults against NYPD officers have surged by over 25% this year, compounding the challenges faced by the force.
Retired NYPD sergeant and John Jay College of Criminal Justice adjunct professor Joseph Giacalone warns that as the numbers continue to dwindle, the situation will take a dramatic turn for the worse, questioning the wisdom of the mayor’s decision to cut hiring in the NYPD.