New York’s Finest continue to bolt from the job at an alarming rate, according to new data obtained by The Post — and some cops worry the exodus will only get worse because the city plans to cancel the next five Police Academy classes, shrinking the nation’s largest police force to the smallest its been in decades.
A total of 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year, the fourth highest number in the past decade and 43% more than the 1,750 who hightailed it in 2018, before the pandemic and crime spikes hit the city, NYPD pension data show.
The number of cops quitting before they reach the 20 years required to receive their full pensions also skyrocketed from 509 in 2020 to 1,040 so far this year — an alarming 104% increase, the data show.
The years of departures and lack of replacements are now taking a toll, forcing the cops who remain on the job to work “inhumane amounts of forced overtime,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry said.
“The workload is a leading factor driving people away from the job,” the union leader said. “If the NYPD is going to survive these staffing reductions, it cannot just keep squeezing cops for more hours.”
The union has proposed a flexible schedule that would have cops work longer hours on fewer days.
Incredibly, 21 cops walked away from the job earlier this year in just a two-day period — Feb. 20 and 21 — to join the MTA, police sources said. Even former NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell stepped down in June amid a steady stream of New York’s Finest beating her to the punch.
Officers typically work 20 years or more to collect their full pension, which can equate to 50% of their final average salary.
One police officer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told The Post he plans to leave the job this summer when he hits 20 years.
“I keep in contact with the guys that I was in the police academy with and we all have the same notion,” he said of his 2004 class of 2,400. “I think maybe 95% of us are planning on leaving.”
The weary officer said the workload at the whittled down NYPD is already crushing cops, and things will decline further now that the city put the kibosh on the next five Police Academy classes, as part of planned budget cuts announced by Mayor Adams on Nov. 16.
The drastic cuts will reduce the department to just 29,000 cops by the end of fiscal year 2025 — the lowest level since the mid-90s — and come amid a slew of city-wide belt tightening. The mayor has blamed the the city’s multi-billion-dollar migrant crisis.
As a 45-year-old, he said he’s having a difficult time keeping up the same punishing hours he worked when he was younger.
“We’ve been working an average of about 13 to 14 hours a day with a lot of the protests happening in the city,” he said. “Enough is enough. I’ll have maybe one day off for the week and I’m so tired from work I don’t want to do anything.”
The job is taking a similar toll on young cops.
A 28-year-old Queens cop who also asked for anonymity has four years with the NYPD said “the job is unbearable now” and he’s “looking to leave sooner than later.”
Spero Georgedakis, 53, a former Miami SWAT team officer who helps recruit and relocate New York City cops to greener pastures — in his case, police departments in Florida — told The Post he’s “busier than ever” and moved 60 disgruntled officers over the last two years.
“The cops who left can’t believe they ever worked there [NYPD],” the Queens native said.
He said the ex-NYPD officers tell him they were “afraid to make arrests” because of the anti-cop climate in the Big Apple, and when they do make a collar, it’s “what’s the point?” and “we’re shoveling sh-t against the tide” because the bad guys are right back out on the street.
The exodus began after Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, triggering nationwide protests and calls to defund the police. Anti-cop hostility, bail reform, and rising crime have fed into frustration among the NYPD rank and file.
Assaults against NYPD cops have skyrocketed by more than 25% this year, police data obtained by The Post last month revealed.
“When you look at the number of resignations, you need to ask yourself why would the mayor even consider making cuts to hiring in the NYPD?” said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “As the numbers continue to dwindle, things will take a dramatic turn for the worse.”
CHART: Number of cops who have left the NYPD in 2023 through Oct. 31
Year/Retirements (with full pension)/Resignations (without full pensions)/Total
Source: NYPD pension data