Jun 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cop crisis: Thousands of police officers have quit over the last year

CNN screenshot of gun violence graphic

Screenshot: CNN

As crime spikes, cops are quitting nationwide, often blaming the constant harassment and stress of ordinary people and powerful politicians turning against their profession.

Why it matters: The killings by police in 2020 turned many Americans — including liberal activists and many in the media — into harsh critics of law enforcement, with loud calls to defund the police. A year later, there’s a cop shortage, and Democrats are scrambling to reverse their rhetoric and some policies.

An eye-opening front-page New York Times story today, "Why Police Have Been Quitting in Droves in the Last Year" (subscription), found that Asheville, N.C., has lost 80 of 238 cops:

  • "Chief David Zack, 58, said that officers were pushed to quit because the protests were directed at them. 'They said that we have become the bad guys, and we did not get into this to become the bad guys.'"

A survey of 194 police agencies, released this month by the Police Executive Research Forum, found that for the year ending in April, retirements were up 45% — and resignations up 18% — from the previous year.

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