The New York City Police Department lost more staff in just the last year than it has in the previous 20 years, according to Fox News. However, a city’s top police union leader says that leadership at the Department is refusing to recognize the problem. New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said that things have gotten so bad that criminals are encouraged to do what they want. He sees this as a situation that endangers residents and tourists alike. According to Lynch, “The NYPD is playing a dangerous game by refusing to acknowledge and address its recruitment and retention crisis.” He added that, “New Yorkers are demanding more police presence in their neighborhoods and on the subway, but we just don’t have the staffing to provide it consistently.” Fox News reports that the Department needed 1,200 new recruits to meet its budgeted headcount. They would need 2,500 new recruits to get back to 2019 staffing levels based on reports by the PBA. However, Fox News says that the Department only got 543 recruits. [tweet_embed]February 04, 2023[/tweet_embed] NYC Police Pension Fund data shows 1,955 officers retired in 2022, and another 1,746 quit. This brought the total to 3,701 officers who left the force in 2022. This is the highest figure in over 20 years. It even beat the large numbers in 2020 and 2021. 3,315 officers departed in 2020, and 2,811 NYPD officers left in 2021. Data also shows that in 2002 a total of 3,846 officers left or quit the force. That number was higher than this past year’s number, but it was also in the wake of the attacks of September 11th. Data obtained by Fox News showed that between 2010 and 2019, the average yearly loss of officers was 2,112 per year. This means that the numbers for 2022 are up compared to the pre-pandemic average. Lynch told Fox News Digital: “Many talented, dedicated recruits don’t want to raise their hand for the NYPD because they’ll be paid better and treated better at almost any other police department,” He also said, “New York City needs to make a major investment in paying and treating its police officers like professionals. It can’t afford not to.” This is not the only Department in the country to face such losses. It is a problem in the country, particularly in large cities. For example, Philadelphia is expected to lose more officers than it brings in this year. This means the problem of keeping our cities safe is certainly getting bigger.