Posted on October 10, 2020

‘Blue Flight’ Retirements Thinning NYPD Ranks to Levels Not Seen in Nearly a Decade

Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News, October 8, 2020

A wave of blue flight is pushing Police Department manpower down to levels not seen in nearly a decade, police brass said Thursday.

“We’re living through very challenging times,” said NYPD Chief of Personnel Martin Morales. “We have officers retiring from all ranks, including very tenured investigators and very tenured supervisors.


Blame the exodus on low morale resulting from anti-police sentiment in New York since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis officers, Morales said.


As of Thursday, there were 34.488 officers on the NYPD force. It’s still the largest police department in the U.S. — but its ranks are down 2,567, or 7%, from last year.


The retirement surge is also setting records.

As of Tuesday, 2,171 cops have left the department in 2020. That’s a 72% increase from the 1,262 who left during the same period of 2019.


During the first five months of 2020, about 200 cops retired each month, Morales said.

Since Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, retirements have soared — to almost 400 in June, and then more than 400 each month in July, August and September.


But PBA President Pat Lynch said the loss of officers puts city residents in peril.

“Thanks to the City Council and Mayor’s ‘Defund the Police’ lunacy, no help is coming any time soon,” Lynch said. “Our elected leaders need to be held responsible for the dangerous path they’ve chosen.”