A new study revealed that resignations of U.S. police officers are rising and has been exacerbated by the Black Lives Matter movement.
From Just the News:
The study, written by University of Nebraska Distinguished Associate Professor of Criminology Justin Nix and University of Utah PhD candidates Scott Mourtgos and Ian Adams, found that within “a large police department in the western US” voluntary police resignations “increased by 279%” following last year’s protests against the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
Perhaps more troubling, the researchers model “predicts that resignations will continue at an elevated level” and warns local officials to “be prepared to confront workforce decline and increased voluntary turnover.”
The team said they decided to study the matter after seeing “all the headlines about cops quitting at higher rates, but hadn’t seen any rigorous analyses.” While the team acknowledged police agencies were having trouble recruiting before the death of George Floyd, the protests in the aftermath have only served to make the situation worse:
“The main thing to keep in mind is that agencies were struggling to recruit and retain officers even before the Floyd protests,” he said. “It’s been a problem since the Great Recession — but the Floyd protests just made it that much more of a problem.”
Rob O’Donnell, a former detective with the New York City Police Department, said that officers depend on support from their communities to do their jobs, something that has been increasingly absent as anti-police rhetoric has spread over the last year.
Some analysts fear that the current environment will lead to a shortage of qualified officers patrolling the streets, as current officers continue to resign their positions and departments struggle to attract new candidates into the field.
“I can understand why anyone would have second thoughts about staying on the police force,” said John Malcom, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, “and certainly why anyone would have second or third or fourth thoughts about joining it in the first place.”
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