This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 22, 2021:
According to an internal survey just obtained by the New York Post, more than half of nearly 6,000 NYPD officers polled say they wish they’d never joined the department. Three out of four say that really outstanding officers don’t “receive appropriate recognition” for the work they do, while eight out of 10 said they aren’t supported by the department.
The combination of an anti-police mayor, a pro-criminal DA, a City Council determined to make life difficult for police officers, the “defund the police” movement, and the consequent rise of crime and attacks by communist BLM thugs has made life for the average police officer in the Big Apple difficult.
Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant and now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said:
This doesn’t look good for [Mayor-elect Eric] Adams. Not only is he inheriting a lot of bad legislation from the City Council and Albany, it sounds like he is getting an apathetic police department.
I don’t blame the cops. DAs that don’t prosecute, feckless politicians … what can they do?
What they can do is move. And an increasing number are doing just that. As Giacalone noted:
New York City police officers are well past [their] breaking point, and [the mayor] and the outgoing City Council are still piling on with policies that punish cops and erode public safety.
The intolerable environment and our substandard pay have every cop looking to get out as soon as they can.
A dozen have moved to Lakeland, Florida, to take advantage of Florida Governor Ron Santis’ offer of a $5,000 signing bonus, scholarships to the law enforcement academy, and “relocation support” that includes an additional $1,000 to help pay for the Equivalent Training Program required of new officers moving to the state.
It helps enormously that Lakeland pays more than New York City ($53,000 a year to start compared to $42,000 in the city), and that neither Lakeland nor Florida levy an income tax. New York City and the state levies both.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody added:
These recruitment initiatives demonstrate our appreciation and commitment to the men and women who choose to wear the badge and [they also] serve as a reminder … that we have their backs.
Florida State Representative Kelli Stargel joined in:
Here in Florida we stand with law enforcement and are thrilled to welcome any officer who wants to relocate to a community where you will be respected and valued.
This was sweet music to former NYPD Officer Matthew Soto, who took the offer to move to Lakeland. He recounted his conversation with the recruiter from Lakeland: “[He] said that you could park your police vehicle in front of your house and, to me, I thought that was mind-blowing. I used to have to lie about what I used to do [in New York City]. I used to have to tell people I was … a bartender because … I was ashamed to be a law enforcement officer.”
Patrick Lynch, president of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association, told the Post: “Many New York City cops are weighing our sub-standard salary against the ever-increasing challenges, scrutiny and abuse, and they’re voting with their feet.”
Spokane, Washington, is upping the ante over Florida, offering a $15,000 signing bonus to NYPD police officers looking to move. The sheriff said:
New York [City] was one of the heaviest areas [we recruited because] their local leaders really came out and did not support their law enforcement … actually disrespected them.
The sheriff, Ozzie Knezovich, purchased billboards in Times Square and has targeted unhappy officers in Portland, Seattle, Denver, and Austin, Texas. He needs 40 new recruits and the protests, the anti-police sentiment, and vaccine mandates are making his job easier.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Indiana Senator Mike Braun are using their Twitter accounts to entice police officers looking to move. Dunleavy wrote: “Consider the 49th state, where we back the blue.”