Jan 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Charted: Police employment declines

Data: Marshall Project analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census data; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios

A new analysis by the Marshall Project shows that from 2020 to 2021, nearly 80% of cities saw a drop in the number of police officers and government employees.

The big picture: The pandemic pushed Americans to leave crucial jobs — from sanitation workers to firefighters — leaving cities scrambling to fill those gaps.

  • Departments have struggled with recruitment to fill open jobs as well.
  • In cities with over 1 million people, like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the number of sworn officers dropped twice as fast as the national average, per the Marshall Project.

State of play: Staffing problems have forced some departments to get creative to meet demand and the changes are having a widespread impact on services, Axios' Ivana Saric writes.

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