NYPD Faces Shrinking Police Force

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is facing increasing strain on its personnel after a number of changes, including recently announced budget cuts. Due to a combination of a number of factors, the department has faced more than 2,500 officer departures so far this year.

In the first 11 months of 2023, 2516 NYPD officers have left the agency. This represented a sharp increase from the 1,750 officers who left employment in 2018.

Much of the total includes those who are leaving prior to racking up 20 years needed for retirement. This number has more than doubled since 2020, with more than 1,000 officers leaving prior to fulfilling the minimum retirement time.

The departure of so many officers has sparked strain on the remaining officers. According to the president of the NYPD’s Police Benevolent Association, the officers are now facing “inhumane amounts of forced overtime.”

The cuts would result in a shrinkage of the planned expansion of officers, cutting the department to 29,000 by the end of 2025’s fiscal year. This would represent the lowest personnel number in 30 years.

Recently, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced a series of budget cuts to every agency in the city’s budget. The cuts are due to the city absorbing billions of dollars in costs due to the entry of more than 100,000 migrants over the last two years.

This included a 5% across-the-board cut for the NYPD. The department was forced to forego a series of planned academy classes for new officers.

In addition, New York has seen a significant increase in crime since prior to the pandemic and the 2020 George Floyd riots. While the crime rate has leveled in the last year, overall rates of theft and violent crime have spiked relative to earlier years.

Violent incidents against police have increased significantly in the past year.

In addition, police advocates note that New York has implemented new policies that affect law enforcement. This includes bail reform efforts that often allowed for individuals accused of crimes to go back into the general population without being jailed first.