There has been a rise in crime across the country that is only expected to get worse in the hot summer months.
But right now, some police unions are sounding the alarm over a nationwide officer shortage.
In New York City alone, new data is revealing that 1,596 officers have either resigned or retired so far this year, according to reports obtained by the New York Post. That’s up nearly 40% from this time last year, the largest mass departure on NYPD record.
A 2021 survey from the Police Executive Research Forum showed a 45% increase in retirements, and nearly 20% spike in resignations, over the previous year.
The NYPD is pushing back on those numbers from the police union, saying that departures are only slightly higher than the previous year.
To help discuss why this wave of resignations is happening, retired NYPD detective Michael Alcazar joined “Morning in America” Monday.
“This is not the time to lose police officers. Historically, summer months are always the highest in crime, highs in shootings and highs in homicides. We’re on track to hit that also, and we have been losing a lot of police officers,” Alcazar said.
He described having trouble with recruitment, saying he has students he teaches who are normally excited to get on the police department. But this past April, Alcazar only had three students who were supposed to go into the police academy, and they actually turned the offer down.
“They’re apprehensive,” Alcazar said, “They’re not sure if it’s something they want to do anymore.”
Alcazar said the students are scared and ask him for advice, but he won’t give them advice because it’s a life decision they have to make for themselves. He said he doesn’t recommend they get into policing if they aren’t ready for it.
Historically, police officers stay in the job for decades until they can retire, but recent data shows more members of law enforcement retiring earlier.
There were seven NYPD officers shot in the first weeks of 2022, including the two officers — Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora — who died from their injuries after being shot while responding to a domestic incident in Harlem.
It’s not safe for police to do their jobs, and Alcazar said officers don’t want to do it anymore.
There’s been a 40% increase in robberies in the city of New York, nearly 15% increase in rapes. According to the NYPD crime statistics, police are busier than ever, and they need more officers on the force to keep up with the demand.