Not many people would stay in a job with an increasingly hostile work environment with very little support. Police officers are no exception.
Many officers are calling it quits in cities where the public and policymakers have put forth an immense effort into defunding the police.
Turning in Their Badges
One of the cities that has consistently pushed anti-police policies and sentiment is now seeing officers leaving in droves. According to recently released numbers, Seattle Police Department has seen their numbers dwindle from 1,276 uniformed officers down to 1,027 officers.
In a statement to Fox News, Seattle Police Guild President Mike Solan said, "Morale is not good, and that's because we don't have the political support from our elected officials. And as we're seeing officers flee this area, it's a direct result of that lack of political support."
Officers have been leaving the SPD's police force steadily over the last couple of years, but 2020 saw a sharp decrease in their total number of officers. In a post-George Floyd world, politicians have cut ties with law enforcement, putting as much distance between themselves and officers as possible.
Solan said "hundreds" of Seattle's police officers were injured in the cities riots, and instead of support, politicians called the officers "the instigators." This has caused many officers to consider resigning and early retirement.
Taking an Early Exit
Seattle's Police Chief Adrian Diaz says that 20 percent of the officers have left the department, with 66 officers leaving in the first two months of 2021. The department is now left with a shortfall in its numbers.
One of the officers who is retiring early is Officer Clayton Powell. Powell told CBS News, he planned on staying at the department for 30 years, then retiring. Now, with 27 years under his belt, he is retiring.
Powell said, "The support that we had in my generation of policing is no longer there." He said that officers had to stand there and "take it" while demonstrators threw rocks, bottles, and cinder blocks.
"When you see businesses get destroyed and families lose their livelihood because of that destruction, and we can't do anything about it. We're not allowed to intercede."Officer Clayton Powell
Rising Crime Stats
While department numbers dwindle, crime stats continue to rise. If politicians continue down this path, they will end up with no officers left and a mess to clean up.