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NYPD sees ‘troubling’ surge of retirement filings, official says

Andrew Cuomo

The New York Police Department has seen a “surge” in the number of officers filing for retirement, according to Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell, who called the trend “troubling.”

From June 29 to July 6, filings soared 411% from the same period a year earlier, according to O’Donnell, a spokesperson for the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information.

The upsurge comes as calls have mounted to defund police departments and as protests against police actions continue since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.

Mayor Bill De Blasio said last month the city would move some of its funding from the department to youth and social services.

“Of course, cops are retiring at a higher rate,” Chris Monahan, president of the Captains Endowment Association, told CNN Wednesday night. “We’ve been abandoned by the NYPD and elected officials.”

New York City last week slashed $1 billion from its police budget, more than a sixth of its 2020 allotment for the department, as hundreds of protesters waited outside to hear the result of the meeting.

“While the decision to retire is a personal one and can be attributed to a range of factors, it is a troubling trend that we are closely monitoring,” O’Donnell said.

From June 29 to July 6, 179 uniformed members filed for retirement, O’Donnell said, compared to 35 during the same time period a year earlier.

“There have been 306 retirements, 40 resignations and 503 have filed for retirement,” since May 25, O’Donnell said. “2019 numbers for comparison: 254 retirements, 49 resignations and 287 filed for retirement.”

People on the force notice a change.

“When you want to retire, you have to make an appointment with the pension section to go file,” an NYPD detective who has been on the force for more than 25 years and is considering retirement told CNN. “Usually you can get one fast. Now it’s more like a week wait.”

“Every day the pension section sends out a notice of who went that day and filed. (It) used to be a page, maybe two the most.. the other day it was six pages,” the detective said.

The increase in retirements is a loss to New Yorkers, according to Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

“The increase in detectives and other cops filing for retirement comes as no shock,” DiGiacomo said. “No one wants to come to work every day and be demoralized and vilified as they risk their lives to protect people.”

“New Yorkers are losing their most experienced crime fighters because of continued violence in the city and the apathy of misguided elected officials,” DiGiacomo said.

The New York City Police Pension Fund has not turned down anyone who wants to file for service-related retirement, according to O’Donnell.

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