Yesterday we talked about Seattle's police force and its problems retaining officers, and how this was typical of many big cities. As if to echo and reinforce the point, the New York Post points out that the NYPD is having the same problem with its detective force - the people who actually investigate crimes and amass evidence for prosecutors.
More than 100 NYPD detectives have retired in June — and another 75 plan to put their papers in next month — as many become frustrated by revolving-door justice and rules that hamstring them in the Big Apple, officials and detectives told The Post.
“That’s going to have a major impact on investigating crimes,” Detectives Endowment Association president Paul DiGiacomo said. “The detective squads are down now as we speak and are investigating more cases. It’s going to have an impact on public safety.”
So far this year, 250 detectives have retired, leaving the total number at about 5,600, which is nearly 2,000 less than two decades ago.
There were 794 detective retirements during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — and that number dropped down to 395 in 2021. Sources said 100 retirements in just one month is a large number for the NYPD.
The Post also reported earlier this month that cops in general were leaving the force in record numbers.
At his NYPD walkout ceremony at the 105th Precinct stationhouse Tuesday, Queens Detective Jason Caputo, 51, said he had “had enough” ... “It’s not even really crimefighting anymore. You arrest somebody for assault 2 with a weapon and then the person is back at the precinct getting his property the next day. They’re not locking anyone up, even those with records.”
. . .
DiGiacomo ... said cops feel demoralized because of a lack of support from politicians.
“It’s simple,” he said. “Detectives are retiring in historic numbers because they have no support from politicians who care more about criminals than cops and the New Yorkers they protect.”
There's more at the link.
When regular officers are retiring or quitting in large numbers, there are fewer cops on the street to arrest criminals. When detectives do likewise, there are fewer skilled investigators to gather evidence to convict the guilty - who are thus more likely to be released by the criminal justice system, free to reoffend again. It's a vicious circle.
Big urban centers in more "traditional" parts of the country appear to be the worst hit by this right now, but it's happening in other cities too. In our part of the world, not so much. Here neighbors are still neighbors to a greater extent, and help each other keep an eye on their neighborhood. I've seen several examples where problem kids - and their parents - were "counseled", preventing the problem from getting out of control, and others where new arrivals received useful advice on the sort of behavior that was, or was not, acceptable. It's all informal, but it's very effective, particularly when more than one neighbor does the counseling. It sends a powerful message that we're a community, and we have standards. It has nothing to do with race, religion or any other such "marker".
I'm afraid that, if enough cops quit, it'll start going beyond "counseling" to more ... ah ... robust methods of communication. If those don't work, well, there's always the backhoe. Around these parts, mention of that apparatus appears to get the immediate and whole-hearted attention of those who might scoff at lesser "encouragement" to "straighten up and fly right". They understand that language. New Yorkers might not, but they have their own equivalents. There may be increased demand for fishmongers there soon.