Report: Defund the Police Rhetoric Partly to Blame for Officer Retirement Rates

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 11: A Chicago police officer attempts to deescalate tension as Englewood residents clash with demonstrators protesting outside the 7th District station of the Chicago Police Department on August 11, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The protest was held in response to the August 9 shooting and wounding …
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Police officers are “quitting or retiring faster than they can be replaced” in big cities across the country — a trend that can, in part, be pegged to radical Democrats’ calls to “Defund the Police,” the Associated Press reported on Monday.

“From Philadelphia to Portland to Los Angeles, killings and gun violence are rising at the same time officers worn out by the pandemic and disillusioned over the calls to divest from policing that followed George Floyd’s murder are quitting or retiring faster than they can be replaced,” the report states.” Departments are scrambling to recruit in a tight labor market and also rethinking what services they can provide and what role police should play in their communities. Many have shifted veteran officers to patrol, breaking up specialized teams built over decades in order to keep up with 911 calls.”

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. The protest is a result of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt York) defund the police

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Philadelphia Police spokesman Eric Gripp told the outlet they are “getting more calls for service” but have “fewer people to answer them.”

“This isn’t just an issue in Philadelphia. Departments all over are down and recruitment has been difficult,” he added, noting that his department has moved employees out of specialty units to help with patrols. 

In Los Angeles, the city is down 650 officers compared to before the pandemic. The city has also closed down its animal cruelty unit and “downsized its human trafficking, narcotic and gun details and reduced its homeless outreach teams by 80 percent.” 

In Seattle, a city infamous for its Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) during the 2020 “summer of love,” just announced $2 million in benefits and hiring bonuses in the hopes of persuading potential recruits “amid a critical officer shortage that has hampered the investigation of serious crimes,” the report continues. 

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell voiced concern about the future of policing on a national level. Since 2020, his force lost 237 sworn officers to retirements and resignations, the report states.

“For me, I wonder, what the profession is going to be 20 years from now if we’re having these challenges on a nationwide scale. Are we going to be able to recruit enough people to serve our cities?” Lovell said.

The report comes after many corporate media outlets and Democrats propped up the Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police Movement and subsequently attempted to downplay the impact of those movements on policing. However, with midterm elections around the corner, Democrats and their media allies are seemingly shifting their narrative as more Americans report being disenchanted with how Democrats have handled rising violent crime. 


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