According to its website, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) “is the largest and one of the oldest municipal police departments in the United States.” However, the force may soon be seeing its numbers shrink.
That’s according to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who told Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro on Saturday that hundreds of officers are considering resigning from the NYPD over a growing anti-police sentiment and lack of support from the higher-ups, the Washington Examiner reported.
“This is insane”
Criticism of police officers has been bolstered by protests across America in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police late last month, according to The New York Times. But what began as peaceful demonstrations quickly turned into lawless riots in many cities, and law enforcement is struggling to keep up.
“You have some [officers] in the hospital, but there were over 300 injuries” from the protests, Kerik told Pirro on Saturday, according to the Examiner.
In one instance, a cop was run down by a motorist, while others have suffered brutal beatings or had bricks thrown at them, the Examiner has reported separately. In Kerik’s view, this is leading some officers to throw in the towel.
“The thing that scares me, judge, [is that] I’m hearing close to 600 cops have either put in their papers, or they’re talking to the department about resigning or retiring — like, this is insane,” the former commissioner said Saturday, according to the Examiner.
“Things have changed”
Kerik’s sentiments were echoed by an NYPD sergeant who spoke with the Examiner on the condition of anonymity, asserting that the problem is a lack of leadership.
“At our level, it’s hard to say, but in the past, you felt like chiefs like [Joseph] Esposito had your back. Even Ray Kelly. Without Rudy [Giuliani], or even with [Michael] Bloomberg, things have changed,” the unnamed officer told the Examiner.
“The [Sergeants Benevolent Association] and the thousands I’ve sent them provide me with a lawyer and dental plan,” the sergeant explained, calling those things, “very important.”
However, he complained that aside from that organization, “No one else will back us at this point. Chiefs taking knees and humiliating themselves,” he lamented.
Former two-term New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has also been harshly critical of the city’s current top politician, Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This action did not have to happen if we had a vaguely competent mayor,” he said, according to the Examiner.
De Blasio, for his part, has promised to make substantial cuts to his city’s law enforcement budget and pledged that the savings will go to increased social services, according to The New York Times. But if he’s not careful, the NYPD may soon not have any officers to budget for.