Police exodus: Officers leave New York amidst crime wave

According to data obtained by The New York Post, a total of 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year, the fourth highest number in the past decade.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) continues to suffer from an avalanche of voluntary discharges and retirements. According to new data revealed by The New York Post, "A total of 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year, the fourth highest number in the past decade and 43% more than the 1,750 who hightailed it in 2018."

According to the media, the police exodus has occurred in the midst of a wave of crime that is plaguing the city. The officer shortage has caused officers to work excessively. According to Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry, officers work "inhumane amounts of forced overtime":

The workload is a leading factor driving people away from the job. If the NYPD is going to survive these staffing reductions, it cannot just keep squeezing cops for more hours.

These statements were reaffirmed and supported by several police officers who offered anonymous testimony to The New York Post: "We’ve been working an average of about 13 to 14 hours a day with a lot of the protests happening in the city. Enough is enough. I’ll have maybe one day off for the week and I’m so tired from work I don’t want to do anything."

Minimal recruitment

Recruitment within the NYPD is at a low, and it has been a slow recovery. Additionally, cuts to the police budget that were imposed by Mayor Eric Adams are so large that the next five Police Academy classes have been canceled by the city.

Officers are even leaving their positions before the stipulated date to be able to access and collect their full pension after 20 years in service (this is equivalent to 50% of their final average salary). Earlier this year, 1,040 police officers decided to retire early, a 104% increase from 2020's total of 509, according to NYPD pension data.

Reforms and anti-police measures implemented by many Democratic officials are a determining reason why officers decide to leave the force. In New York, for example, officer George Dakis told The New York Post that he is "afraid to make arrests," because when someone is detained, soft-crime policies make him think, "What's the point?" he said, declaring that he feels that he is "shoveling sh-t against the tide."

Officer exodus in New York

In a statement issued by the office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis months ago, it is evident that many officers deciding to leave the New York police force are relocating to The Sunshine State.

The police argued that among the main reasons for this move was their sentiment that law enforcement was being neglected, along with excessive taxes and failed policies that have been applied to combat crime. Most of the officers who come to Florida are from New York.

Davey, a former NYPD officer, moved last year to serve with the Clermont Police Department, stating:

After working in the NYPD for 17 years, I began to feel as if the city I served no longer supported my efforts. I decided to look into relocating my family and practicing law enforcement elsewhere. ...  I am happy to say that in July of last year I moved to Florida and joined the Clermont Police Department soon after.

Rob, another former officer who also joined the Clermont Police Department, said that he moved to Florida because "New York’s over-taxation is burdensome and pays for failed policies that have led to both a dramatic increase in crime and decrease in quality-of-life."

Despite 25 years and four promotions at the NYPD, the choice of moving to Florida was an easy one. The people and the government in Florida are far more appreciative and supportive of law enforcement. Governor DeSantis’s call is being heard and I was happy to make the move.