Roy Exum: No Need To 'Defund'

Sunday, October 18, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Even the most liberal among us should have seen this coming. The nation’s police have had quite enough of the leftist leaders of our biggest cities and today’s alarm is how are these same mayors and governors ever going to contain the wackos following the Nov. 3 election? Police are quitting in troubled cities by the hundreds. In Seattle, the perplexed mayor never figured the police themselves would assist in the defunding of their budgets by resigning. With 110 suddenly leaving the department, Jenny Durkan said those left can’t handle the 9-1-1 calls, and nobody is applying for the empty job. Well, imagine that!

When George Floyd famously said, “I can’t breathe’’ as he was being held down in a “choke hold” by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, it triggered an angry outcry that was unprecedented in our nation’s history. No one, including the officer, knew that he was actually dying of a drug overdose or that the lethal amounts of fentanyl he had ingested had caused his lungs to fill with fluid. He couldn’t breathe if he had been standing up in an open field! But all we knew at the time was that Floyd suffocated in a tragic incident and all of us were horrified.

Our nation, already strained by a pandemic the like of which we had never seen, over-reacted in a horrible way. Riots across America were more frightening than they ever should have been as Democratic-led cities shirked their duties “to serve and protect.” The party’s disillusioned and misguided mayors and governors, repeatedly told law enforcement to “stand down,” then stood and watched as over $2 billion of senseless damage took place – and they are still rioting every night in Portland due to spineless leadership. We all saw it happen. We all mourned for our country.

At the same time, opportunist liberals went on a “defund the police” binge and suddenly our police, quite unfairly, suffered a greater scorn than the thugs who looted our stores before burning them down. In Seattle, the city council defunded the police a full 50 percent … and now “the truth has come home to roost.” Over 110 police officers have now left the Seattle Police Department and Mayor Jenny Durkan is beginning to panic. “We will soon not be able to answer our urgent 9-1-1 calls,” she cried out to a Seattle TV station on Friday. Understand, this is the same woman who caused Police Chief Carmen Best to resign in frustration last month.

“We are losing an unprecedented number of officers, which makes it more critical that we recruit and retain officers committed to reform and community policing that reflect the diversity and values of our city,” the mayor said, but the fact is Seattle is a terrible place to be a cop. With 39 officers resigning in September to bring this year’s total to 110 departures, 92 quit last year, 109 left in 2018, and 79 in 2017. The city’s budget allows for 1,422 officers and today’s count is 1,203 in service.

Moreover, the same Seattle Police are now stretched thin to protect Durkan herself. The first lesbian mayor of Seattle is being inundated by so many homophobic slurs and death threats that the city’s “defunded” police have just streamlined a direct access this week from the mayor’s phones to detectives. Are you kidding me?

Mayor Jenny has come a long way since this summer when she called the police-free autonomous zone in her city a "block party" amid a "summer of love." That same week the state of Washington governor begged President Trump for $56 million in disaster relief. Yes, Seattle wanted federal taxpayers to foot the bill for the damages caused by the Black Lives Matter-fueled riots and mayhem that included “paid” Antifa rabble-rousers. Trump said, “No way.”

Two weeks ago, the state Supreme Court ruled Mayor Durkan cannot be recalled but many on the police force say recruiting is an impossible task. And it is the same way in all of America’s largest cities. The police – lacking any support from City Hall and loathed by city councils -- are leaving in record numbers. In New York City there are not enough office workers to deal with the number of resignations.

The COVID catastrophe has decimated the cash reserves in every city. It is also very true that every American city is preparing for more protests and expensive violence on Nov. 3, regardless the outcome of the election.

There is a website, pjmedia.com, that has published two stories of late by a police officer of a large police department who is writing under the ‘pen name’ of “Brady White.” On Friday, the police officer wrote why there are wholesale resignations across America. Let me share that story …

* * *

‘THERE IS A MASS EXODUS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT NATIONWIDE’

(This story appeared on the pjmedia.com website on October 16, 2020. It was written by a policeman who uses the penname of “Brady White” for obvious reasons.)

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.

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.

* * *

NEW YORK CITY POLICE REELING FROM RESIGNATIONS

[From Fox News] The New York Police Department – said to be the largest police force in the nation – is in the grip of a "troubling" shakeup, as retirements and resignations continue to mount, officials said. Union officials and others say the exodus is being fueled in part by pressure by racial justice advocates to defund police departments or impose major reforms.

The NYPD said in an email to Fox News this week that 2,385 officers have submitted their retirement papers this year as of Oct. 6 – an 87% increase from the 1,274 retirements reported during the same period in 2019.

The department said 372 others have resigned as of Oct. 6, five more than last year.

From March 26 to Oct. 5, 1,838 officers retired, compared to 999 during the same period in 2019, a surge of 84%, the NYPD said.

* * *

"Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God." —Matthew 5:9

royexum@aol.com


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