News & Politics

NYPD Detectives Deal With the Fallout of Defunding and Staff Shortages

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

If you’ve ever watched an episode of any of the various Law and Order series, you see how difficult a time NYPD detectives have under normal circumstances. In a large city like New York, crime is constant and bureaucracy makes solving them even more complicated.

And that’s when they’re not hampered by the Defund the Police movement and Biden-era staffing issues.

These days, New York City has made life harder for their hard-working detectives. Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council slashed the NYPD budget by a whopping billion dollars.

It’s tough to fathom that sort of budget cut, so let’s look at what such a shortfall meant for the NYPD. The police department disbanded a plainclothes anti-crime unit, dropping 600 jobs. Another 900 new recruits found their hiring delayed, and officers and detectives alike faced less overtime.

These moves haven’t just made solving crime more difficult, but they’ve also led to lower morale among the department.

New York City detectives are plagued with low morale, low staffing and a lack of support from leadership 18 months after George Floyd’s death sparked national backlash against police departments, according to a union president who represents over 19,000 active and retired NYPD detectives.

“It’s the first time in history that you had all three entities of government turn their backs on the police — and I mean on a city level, state level and federal level,” Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo told Fox News.

Detectives also believe that today’s political climate breeds a lack of respect for the police.

“The opinion of the police department suffered, unfairly in my opinion,” Bronx Detective Rick Simplicio told Fox News.

“It’s not as vocal,” he said, regarding the vitriol law enforcement faced in the months after Floyd died. “It’s still out there. It’s just not as vocal as it once was.”

The shift in perception and staffing woes have certainly come about over the past year-and-a-half, but they’re indicative of a trend that’s been taking place for decades. The NYPD has 2,000 fewer detectives on the beat than it did in 2001, and according to the union, departments are handling as many as 100 cases at any given time.

Related: Biden Touts Police Reform While Mobs Run Wild in Portland

Additionally, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate stands to add to the staffing problems. Over 13,000 NYPD employees remained unvaccinated as of October 28, and the city has threatened to send home without pay any vaccine holdouts come Monday. The mandate threats will only make circumstances worse for New York City’s finest.

All of these factors make the rise in crime even more difficult for the NYPD. In particular, a 21% spike in violence involving illegal guns has kept detectives even busier than usual. Bail reform laws that passed in New York state in 2020 have put criminals back out on the street, committing more crimes before they can even stand trial for their original offenses.

“The defunding of the police didn’t work, just like the laws that were passed in Albany are not working,” DiGiacomo said, blaming New York’s legislature for passing reforms that are making crime worse. “It’s just that our elected officials are not adult enough to realize or admit they made a mistake and fix what they broke.”

Union executives like DiGiacomo want to hold the judicial system accountable to help enforce the law, which would lower crime and make police work exponentially easier.

It’s a shame that far-left policies at the city, state, and federal levels have made life so much more difficult for the fine, hardworking folks who labor to keep New York City secure. Maybe one day the tides will shift and the city will become safer. But it’s hard to hold out much hope, given who’s in power in New York now.