Editor’s Note: “Brady White” is the pseudonym of an active-duty police officer. His first column — or rant, as he prefers to call it — came to me from a trusted source. Brady’s original “confession” struck a chord with PJ Media readers, particularly those in law enforcement, and it is with great pleasure that I’m able to publish his second column.
My name is “Brady White.” It’s not my real name but I am currently a police officer in a major city. If I were to write this under my real name I’d be reassigned, investigated, suspended, or possibly even fired.
I am taking on a risk by writing these columns. But the reason I do so is twofold: One, I can’t remain silent anymore and; two, because the public needs to know what the day-to-day front-line patrol officer deals with.
There is a mass exodus in law enforcement. Nationwide.
Read that again. Let it sink in.
Let me explain.
Every week men and women are leaving departments. Retirements, medical disability pensions, officers killed in the line of duty. But now people are also taking early retirements, leaving before they become vested in a pension system and going into another career field. Those who are vested in the pension system? Most are hanging on and counting down the days, weeks, months, and years. I’ve talked to many and they don’t blame anyone for getting out.
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For whatever reason, separations this year are through the roof. COVID-19, civil unrest, the loss of qualified immunity like in Colorado, fear of a civil suit for doing your job within policy ruining not only your finances, but the financial future of your family (see: Atlanta and their corrupt DA). Some cops have had it, and I honestly can’t blame them.
When I first came on the street I loved coming to work. We were still on the tail end of being able to be proactive, and we were allowed to be police. There wasn’t as much administrative red tape designed to prohibit us from making arrests.
Now, in the face of COVID19 and BLM/Antifa riots and general anti-law enforcement sentiment, we are encouraged to use any tool other than a physical arrest whenever possible.
Via LinkedIn, the Dallas Police Department just graduated Class 371. The class added three officers to the force. In the third-largest city in Texas. They essentially replaced attrition losses for one week. Via a source with the NYPD, there are so many Officers retiring that they simply cannot process all the separations right now. They don’t have enough people to do all the paperwork so there are literally people waiting in line like they’re ordering cold cuts at a deli to retire from the largest police department in the United States.
We haven’t even really talked about officers in the prime of their careers leaving large agencies for smaller ones. It’s a buyer’s market out there. So the suburbs and rural areas are going to benefit. Sound familiar? Sorta like all the people absolutely fleeing large cities ahead of the election.
Folks, there’s a problem with all this. If this keeps up we might be venturing into Delta City territory without RoboCop. Vastly outnumbered, overworked police officers, in cities with unchecked violent crime.
My department reports we employ more than one thousand people, and so far this year over sixty have resigned or retired. I personally know of another dozen waiting for the state police to schedule their next academy. Then? They all leave. Another agency close by has another forty officers in their hiring process, and a third agency has applications in from another twenty-five. That means we are on pace to lose over ten percent of our workforce this year.
My department is unable to find one hundred replacements to hire for new recruits.
Even if they could, you would not have a 100% success rate through the end of field training. It also takes time to test and vet the replacements. This doesn’t happen overnight.
I’ve been told by friends that upper-level brass is aware of the impending separation problem and have chosen to live with it. Nothing is really being done to retain those leaving.
No new sergeants tests are to be given, because my city — like many others enduring the extended COVID19 shutdown — is broke. Running at an unsustainable deficit. That means layoffs, unpaid days off, and forced retirements are all rumored to be coming down at some point. There’s also a hiring freeze in the city. So how do you replace 10% of your departing workforce? You can’t even afford to hire replacements! Forget about all the experience and knowledge leaving with them. Not to mention there isn’t a large interest in becoming a police officer in the United States in 2020.
I used to get angry when friends of mine would leave the department. I felt like they were abandoning me, because I used to be a true believer, and they were good officers. I wanted them to stay and work with me. But as I spent more time on the street I got to see how administrators were punitive in doling out punishment to some, while others seem to always skate. Some officers always seem to work the holidays while the same officers who skate by always seem to get Christmas off. Never have to do the extra dog-and-pony stuff? I understand why they left and it makes me wish I had left with them.
Don’t think that this is just happening where I work. It’s not. Men and women in law enforcement have reached out to me from across the nation; my problems are not unique. Quite the opposite, they seem to be universal.
That should give anyone reading this pause.