New York police officers are leaving in droves, lured by better pay and working conditions in areas as remote as Colorado.
In November, 1,225 officers resigned from the New York Police Department this year before reaching five years of service, according to the New York Times.
By comparison, there were 870 such resignations last year and 477 in 2020. In total, about 3,200 left the 34,000-person department – including retirees – through November, the biggest tally since 2002.
Police unions have pointed to aggressive recruiting by other agencies that are willing to give new recruits higher pay. NYPD officers are also facing long shifts due to crime concerns.
The cost of living in other states is often cheaper, and some departments — like Aurora, Colorado — have offered relocation bonuses.
“Other communities recognize talent and poach our members,” Patrick J. Lynch, president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, told The Times. “If we pay our policemen at the market rate, they will stay here. We know that’s the answer because that’s what these other departments and jurisdictions are doing successfully.
Police departments across the United States have grappled with a wave of departures in 2020 amid anti-police protests, although hirings have increased in the past year.
The NYPD said it was monitoring attrition and filling roles.
“The NYPD regularly monitors attrition and plans accordingly to deal with the loss of officers who retire or leave the department for various reasons,” the department told The Times. “Year-to-date, we’ve hired about 2,000 people, including 600 people who were hired in October and trained at the Police Academy.”