by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Casey Chalk writes for the Federalist about a serious public safety threat.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is experiencing a record number of resignations. As of June 2022, more than 1,500 officers have either resigned or retired. This marks “the largest exodus of officers since the statistics have been available,” according to the New York Post.
An August report noted that many of New York’s finest are quitting before they even get their pensions. Oakland, California, is also experiencing a record number of police departures, according to a report from March. And last month, the entire police force of Kenly, North Carolina, quit.
Across the country, America is witnessing the same trend: Police forces are having unprecedented, catastrophic problems with retaining personnel. Consequently, homicide numbers for the first half of 2022, based on data from 23 cities, are 39 percent higher than they were in the same time period of 2019, according to a July report in Time magazine.
What is going on?
Much of the blame seems to lie at the feet of progressive politicians and police chiefs who were installed to “reform” police departments following widespread calls to “defund the police” in the aftermath of the 2020 death of George Floyd. Media reports indicate these ideologues are applying the same blinkered, anti-racist, leftist strategies across the country, with predictable results.
Take Charlottesville, Virginia, which hired RaShall Brackney, its first black female police chief, following waves of violence in 2017 “to restore public trust” in the city’s police force. A self-described “liberal Democrat,” Brackney implemented radical change by disbanding highly coveted special units and taking disciplinary action against six members of the city’s SWAT team, which she later disbanded.
Many officers called Brackney “heavy-handed,” and her leadership style was alienating. Mike Wells, president of the Central Virginia chapter of the Police Benevolent Association, noted the city’s force has “lost faith” in Brackney.