The number of NYPD officers filing for retirement has soared. A total of 503 of New York’s finest have filed for retirement between May 25 and July 3, a 75 percent jump compared to 2019, and between June 29 and July 6 alone, the department said 179 NYPD officers filed, a 411 percent increase from the same time last year.
The department is receiving so many retirement applications it is limiting the number submitted per day after overtime pay for the workers who process them was canceled. With a particularly large class of officers reaching their 20-year anniversary on the force this September, making them eligible for a full pension, the department should be prepared for more paperwork.
According to Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, this mass exodus from the department shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.
“It's no surprise that we're seeing this influx of retirements. I mean, it's just one thing after another that they just keep on piling on, whether it's the local politicians or the state politicians adding new laws and new rules. I think that the police department is pretty much just fed up with the leadership of Bill de Blasio,” Giacalone told Fox News.
The retired sergeant cited a number of new laws and restrictions put on the police in New York, saying they limit officers' ability to do their jobs and put them at risk legally and financially as a big contributing factor to people leaving the force. He specifically mentioned new regulations on the use of force and compression when making arrests and the new mandate that officers must buy liability insurance.
The NYPD Medal for Valor recipient warns that if people and politicians want a better trained, more consistent police force, defunding and vilifying law enforcement will not get them that.
“The quality of police officers has always been a problem for the recent past. We don't entice them with a lot of pay. And now you're dealing with all this political unrest. ... People are saying why would I want to do this? Unfortunately, you could end up with people who shouldn't have gotten hired in the first place,” he warns. “What we don't want to see is the municipalities start lowering the standards even more than they already have in order to even fill seats. Because if you think that's going to solve your problem going forward, you're mistaken.”
After a long career in the NYPD, Giacalone now teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The majority of his students are on track for some sort of job in law enforcement, but over the past few weeks he says he has received a number of emails from students who, in light of the unrest and the anti-police sentiment in the country, are reconsidering their careers.
“It's a shame because the students, a lot of these young kids, [who are] smart, educated, [and] wanted to do this, are now saying, 'Yeah I am smart and I am educated and I'm going to go do something else,’” said the professor.
Giacalone says with the surge of retirements, coupled with a canceled July recruit class, New Yorkers should expect fewer cops, slower response times, and essentially an under-resourced, overworked police.
He said: “These numbers are going to keep on getting worse and worse. And the fact that they eliminated the next class, you're dealing with thousands of less cops in a short period of time, which could spell disaster for the city.”