In the United States, police officers are quitting in droves. Unfortunately, this has put a strain on many cities since crime rates have rapidly risen. For example, in the 20/21 fiscal year, 631 police officers from all ranks left the Los Angeles Police Department.
It’s not just happening in LA. Police chiefs from across the nation reported an 18% increase in officer resignations and a 45% increase in retirements. While sometimes officers leave to work for another department, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, officers are leaving their profession behind.
Many people depend on the police for protection, especially in cities with high levels of violent crime. Those citizens will need to arm themselves and provide their own protection from here on out. Thankfully, handguns are affordable, and it’s not hard to get a concealed carry license in most states where it’s legal.
What’s going on? Why are police quitting en masse? There isn’t a single answer; although, there are several key reasons outlined below.
Police don’t want to be violently assaulted by protestors
After George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, tens of thousands of protestors across major U.S. cities called for defunding the police. Their grievance is understandable, considering the circumstances of Floyd’s death. However, not all cops are bad, and many of the good ones have had enough of being labeled as such.
Unfortunately, hatred toward cops has grown into a major problem and they are constantly being assaulted by protestors. Although the media reported the George Floyd protestors as “peaceful,” many were anything but.
Initially, there were peaceful protests, but those people went home. As the darkness of night approached, many protestors turned violent and started blowing up police vehicles and dousing police headquarters with gas in an attempt to burn down the precinct.
Many officers were assaulted by these protestors, including a lieutenant who was hit in the helmet with a brick. A former Minneapolis police officer told the City Journal, “Police work is kind of a lottery, and every time you answer a call or make a stop, you’re rolling the dice. Those confrontations became much more frequent and much more violent during the riots as well. And there’s just so many of them.”
The violence against police officers hasn’t stopped, and many are no longer willing to put up with being assaulted.
Some officers don’t want to be vaccinated
In 2020, the Biden administration mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all government workers; this includes military personnel and public servants like police officers. Many police officers have publicly protested these mandates, and some have been outspoken in the news.
Weekly testing is no longer an option for police officers, and many aren’t willing to be forced into medical treatment they don’t want.
Some officers don’t want to enforce unconstitutional laws
In addition to not wanting to be forced into accepting unwanted medical treatment, many police officers don’t want to enforce the unconstitutional laws that have come about since the pandemic began. For instance, they don’t want to arrest unvaccinated people for simply being in a restaurant or bar.
The officers who are quitting take their oath to serve the public and the Constitution seriously, and they aren’t willing to compromise on their values. They are being forced into a corner, and the only thing they can do is quit.
What happens next?
With so many police officers quitting, what is going to happen to the cities that need protection? Unfortunately, some of those cities have already defunded certain aspects of law enforcement, and have downgraded certain crimes to conserve personnel resources.
The Wall Street Journal has dubbed San Francisco a “shoplifter’s paradise,” and that’s pretty accurate. Theft has essentially been decriminalized, which has led to massive theft from retail stores. Walgreens has closed twelve San Francisco stores because those twelve stores alone account for 26% of all shoplifting in the area.
In 2014, California passed an initiative to treat theft with less than $950 in damage as a misdemeanor. Since then, retail stores have enacted policies that workers are not to intervene when witnessing a crime. Now, criminals are capitalizing on that initiative more than ever before.
In some cities, citizens are on their own
It’s hard to believe the day would come, but in some cities, citizens are on their own. While the police can still be reached and 9-1-1 is still functional, they’ll only send out an officer in an emergency.
Domestic arguments, mental health crises, and dog bites are just three examples of crimes that are no longer prioritized in some areas. Speculation aside, nobody really knows what will happen next – only time will tell.