As some on the left continue pushing for a decreased police presence, it appears they might be getting their wish.
Recent reports reveal that, along with an uptick in crime across the nation, there has been a significant increase in the number of retirements and resignations by law enforcement officers over the past year.
A troubling trend
According to The New York Times, a survey of roughly 200 police departments nationwide revealed the troubling trend.
The Police Executive Research Forum conducted the study and found that the number of officer retirements was 45% higher and resignations were up 18% in April compared to the same month last year.
In its report, the Times provided some specific examples of the troubling trend.
In New York City, 1,509 officers retired in 2019. The following year, that number jumped by more than 1,000 to a total of 2,600 police retirements.
While there are clearly various reasons for the surge, it appears to coincide with the rise in protests across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody.
“Police have backed off”
Former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly recently shared his belief that an extended period of civil unrest and mounting scrutiny were direct factors in the decision of many officers to leave the force.
“Well, that is the perception among law enforcement throughout America,” he said during a recent Fox News Channel interview. “There have been so many rules, regulations, and restrictions placed on the police after the killing of George Floyd that police have backed off.”
Even those who remain on the job are increasingly afraid to take action against suspected criminals, Kelly said, declaring that “they could very well lose their jobs or certainly be disciplined” for employing the same methods that were widely accepted just a few years ago.
“That’s the fact of life,” he said. “That’s where we are and that’s why we see crime going up.”
Even progressives see the trend and are backing off from their previous “defund the police” messaging. For his part, President Joe Biden recently delivered a speech addressing the rise in urban crime, though he focused primarily on gun control as a method of addressing the problem.