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Cops Retiring From City Departments in Record Numbers

'Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section and I don't blame them...'

Police officers are retiring in record numbers in several major cities, and departments across the country are struggling to recruit new officers, according to reports.

More than 5,300 officers — or roughly 15% of the force — at the New York Police Department retired or filed paperwork to leave the department in 2020, according to the New York Post.

Another 2,600 officers simply left the job.

In total, 75% more officers left the force in 2020 than the year before.

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Philadelphia is also struggling with a mass exodus from its police force.

Over the past year, 79 Philadelphia police officers have been accepted into the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Program, which means they intend to retire within four years, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

During the same time period in 2019, just 13 officers were accepted into the program.

The Philadelphia Police Department also has hundreds of vacancies it has struggled to fill.

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“Cops are forming a conga line down at the pension section and I don’t blame them,” Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said. “NYPD cops are looking for better jobs with other departments or even embarking on new careers.”

Giacalone said constant attacks on law enforcement and anti-police reforms such as “Defund the Police” have turned “the job into a minefield,” forcing officers to leave.

Jack Rinchich, president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, agreed and said many officers are trying to get out while they can.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that what’s transpiring in our nation today is contributing to the lack of retention and the difficulty in hiring new officers. A lot of cops right now in view of the environment are saying, ‘Hey, I’ve gone 20, 30 years without being sued, shot, or divorced. I’m going to get out while I have an opportunity,’” Rinchich said.

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