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Updated: June 11, 2022, 1:21 PM

NYPD exodus: Police on pace to quit, retire in record numbers

By Dean Balsamini

More than 1,500 NYPD officers have either resigned or retired so far this year – on pace to be the biggest exodus of officers since the statistics have been available, The Post has learned.

Some 524 cops have resigned and 1,072 have retired as of May 31, NYPD pension stats obtained by The Post show.

The 1,596 total is a 38% spike from the same period in 2021, when 1,159 cops called it a career, and a staggering 46% climb from 2020, when 1,092 left the force by the same date.

Anti-cop hostility, bail reform, and rising crime have fed into frustration among the NYPD rank and file, according to one NYPD officer who recently fled for greener pastures at a Long Island police department after 6 1/2 years with the New York’s Finest.

“The city is out of control — especially since bail reform,” according to the former Queens cop, who asked to be identified only as “Joe.” The mantra now is “get out while you still can.”

Joe’s patrol gig “got worse and worse” over time, he said.

“The last few years so many people had been leaving and manpower was so low that you’d go to work and you’d answer 25 to 30 jobs a day and you’re burnt out by the end of the day,” he said, adding, “there was no time for law enforcement” because it would be “radio run, radio run, radio run all day long.”

Even when he made an arrest, “they were back in the precinct picking up their property the same day.”

“Residents would ask, ‘Why does this keep happening?’ and I would have to explain to them, ‘This guy is going to be locked up tonight, but tomorrow night he’s going to come down your block again, he’s going to be on the same corner, you’re going to see him in the same stores [committing crimes]. I wish there was more we could do. But we can’t,'” Joe said.

The stunning pension stats are at odds with the NYPD’s own figures, which show 1,091 cops set to leave as of May 31, with 494 resigning and 594 retiring.

Overall, the current roster of 34,687 is a significant drop from 2019, when there were 36,900 officers on the force.

Officers typically work 20 years or more to collect their full pension, which can equate to 50% of their final average salary. The data obtained by The Post shows those who are “running their time,” or using accrued days off before they exit. Those cops are still counted in the NYPD’s own stats as being on the force.

“Last year the number of cops who quit before becoming eligible for their full pension was the highest in two decades. This year we are on pace for the highest ever recorded,” the source said.

Joe — who will ultimately get only a prorated fraction of his pension — knows of at least four other NYPD pals who left the city for Long Island police departments.

“Cops who made the move before me said, ‘It’s a decision you have to make. You can’t turn this job down. The quality of life is better, they treat you more like a human being than a number,'” Joe said, adding the advice was also to “take other [civil service] tests, explore all options, look out of state, Florida, Texas, Arizona….My friends were all going to the Port Authority, Nassau, Suffolk, MTA [police departments].”

Joe said he checks in “everyday” with his friends back at his former Queens precinct, and morale has “plummeted” further.

“When I ask, ‘How are things?’ the response is ‘Horrible. Worse than when you left and it’s only been six months,'” he said.

The mass departures will have repercussions, law enforcers said.

“The NYPD is sliding deeper into a staffing crisis that will ultimately hurt public safety,” Police Benevolent Association Patrolman Union President Patrick Lynch said.

“Low pay, inferior benefits and constant abuse from the City Council and other anti-cop demagogues has pushed attrition to record highs,” Lynch added, noting the Department “is struggling” to fill Academy classes.

“We need more cops working more hours to turn the tide of violence, but there is only so much overtime they can squeeze out of the cops who remain,” he said.

The NYPD was hoping to hire 1,009 new cops for the class that was sworn in in December. In the end, the upcoming graduating NYPD class totals a mere 675, police sources said. The current police officer exam, whose registration began June 8, is free.

“It will take 20 years to fix this mess,” said Joseph Giacalone, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and a former NYPD sergeant.

“The city is bleeding blue and only the cop haters will be celebrating… There’s no way to stop it. Activists, abolitionists, and their pandering politicians have done so much damage to the profession, that it will take a generation to fix, if at all.”