In the wake of widespread protests and claims on the left of systemic racism in law enforcement, America’s police officers are retiring in droves — and a new report claims there aren’t enough new recruits to replace them.
According to the Washington Examiner, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are struggling to fill the roles left by officers who have stepped away from the police force over the last year.
The Examiner‘s report cited a study from the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based group headed by Chuck Wexler.
The group’s research indicates that law enforcement officials are stepping away from their jobs at alarming rates. Departures in local police departments were said to be up as much as 45% over last year in some places.
“Crisis on the horizon”
In the meantime, hiring has slowed as much as 5%, the researchers said, according to the Associated Press.
The trend has reportedly been especially evident in the wake of the often destructive protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death prompted calls for local governments to cut funding for police — calls that coincided with a jump in violent crime, Wexler said.
He told the AP that there’s “a crisis on the horizon for police chiefs when they look at the resources they need, especially during a period when we’re seeing an increase in murders and shootings.”
“It’s a wake-up call,” Wexler added.
The search for cops continues
The Washington Examiner‘s reporting on crime in 2020 supported Wexler’s claims: “In New York City,” for instance, “crime spiked 22% in May compared to the previous year.”
The Examiner‘s Lawrence Richard said the “rate was driven by a 46.7% increase in robbery, a 35.6% increase in grand larceny, a 20.5% increase in felony assaults, and a 73% increase in shooting incidents.”
As police departments struggle to fill open slots on their rosters, leaders are also getting pickier about who they hire, the AP notes. “We’re looking for someone who can actually relate to the community,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant told the outlet, “but also think like the community thinks.”