Not even the fantastical, twisted literary worlds invented by Lewis Carroll aka Charles Dodgson prepared me for the rabbit hole the Democrats opened on Sunday with their strident claim that the policing crisis unfolding in Democrat controlled cities is the fault of Republicans. Yep. The Democrats who have been championing “Defund” the police since George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose last year are now having second thoughts as murders and gun violence become a common experience in the predominantly black neighborhoods comprising New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
In tandem with the explosion of violence that was detonated by Democrat leaders denouncing the police as fascist thugs, senior police officers are voting with their feet and saying good-bye to the job.
The Police Executive Research Forum is out with an important new study documenting the exodus. Here are the key findings:
- On average, agencies are currently filling only 93% of the authorized number of positions available.
- Among the responding agencies as a whole, fewer new officers were hired, and resignations and retirements increased in the 2020-2021 period, compared to the previous year.
- HIRING: The reduction in hiring was relatively modest, with a 5% overall decrease in the hiring rate among responding departments. Smaller agencies actually saw an increase in hiring, while larger departments experienced dramatic reductions.
- RESIGNATIONS: Increases in resignations were more significant. Agencies reported an overall 18% increase in the resignation rate in 2020-21, compared to 2019-20.
- RETIREMENTS: Increases in retirements were even larger. Among all responding police departments, there was a 45% increase in the retirement rate. (In small departments, a small number of retirements may result in a high percentage increase in the retirement rate. But even in the largest agencies, with 500 or more officers, the retirement rate increased by 27%.)
The survey does not mention specific cities, but you need only look at the responses to appreciate that the police departments in the large urban areas are bailing out at an unprecedented rate. The situation is made worse because the police in those big cities are having trouble recruiting new officers.