Police departments across America are facing a decrease in officers and applicants following a year of Black Lives Matter and other oppositional movements.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has experienced a 75 percent increase in quitting or retiring officers in 2020. The exodus of police officers is claimed to be a direct result of a national apathy towards law enforcement. The sentiment is in tune with nationally recognized allegations of police brutality and racism within departments and individual officers. Cases spurring civil and political unrest include George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and Breonna Taylor.
A survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) records a decrease in applicants. PERF states, “Sixty-three percent of agencies that responded to PERF’s survey said the number of applicants for police officer positions had decreased, either significantly (36%) or slightly (27%), over the past five years.” While retirement is an individual choice, the rates are being monitored and reflected in the exodus of officers.
In New York City, increased numbers of shootings are a cause for concern as the city experiences high crime rates. New York’s City Journal reports, “New York City in 2020 experienced an unprecedented one-year increase in homicides and shootings. Through December 27, 2020, the number of murders was up 41 percent from 2019 and 53 percent from 2018. Shooting victims were up 103 percent from 2019 and 109 percent from 2018; shooting incidents rose 97 percent and 104 percent.”
Continuing, “In gang-ridden precincts, the spike was even more startling. In Brooklyn’s Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods, there were 170 percent more shooting victims in 2020 than in 2019 and 151 percent more shooting incidents. Murder was up 94 percent in these parts of Brooklyn.” The increase in crime is parallel to the increase in violent demonstrations, from rioting to looting. Officers in New York and other protest-ridden cities face relentless demonstrators and backlash for enforcing the law during protests.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NY DAILY NEWS
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