The police union in Louisville, Kentucky stated that the department seems to be in “fire straits” over staffing after the resignation of over 200 officers in 2020 and 2021.
Over 190 police officers resigned from their positions within the department in 2020 after a police-involved shooting that led to the death of Breonna Taylor. In spite of all of the protesting done, no officers involved were charged with Taylor’s death, though the city has now issued a ban on all so-called “no-knock warrants, prohibiting police from forcibly entering a home without first announcing themselves even if they have a warrant,” reported Buzzfeed News.
Like many other police departments that have heavily suffered amid the increase in anti-police rhetoric and following the “Defund the Police” movement, Louisville is finding it very difficult to find anyone who is willing to take on any law enforcement role, according to the police union of the department.
“Nearly 190 cops left the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) in 2020 and 43 have stepped away from the Kentucky city’s agency so far in 2021, either choosing to retire or resign altogether, as law enforcement officials struggle to recruit new members to make up for a deficit in manpower,” as reported by Fox News.
“I would say that we’re in dire straits,” a spokesperson for the union stated to the news source.
“Statistics provided by LMPD on Tuesday show the department has hired 26 new members so far this year, while 43 have left. The 1,069-person department falls 255 people short of its ‘authorized strength’ of 1,324 — the number of personnel it is authorized to employ,” the outlet went on to add.
“Our manpower is critically low,” the spokesperson stated, going on to not that anti-police sentiment appears to be a crucial element. “One thing we have to consider when we’re talking about recruiting is that in the climate that we currently find ourselves, the pool of people wanting to become officers is shrinking every day.”
Compounding all of the national scrutinies that have been directed at Louisville’s police over Taylor’s death, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is now getting ready to look into the department’s methods and policing practices to ascertain if officers have shown a blatant pattern of civil rights violations.
The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that earlier in the year, the staffing problem with officers is not a problem unique to Louisville.
“A survey of news stories indicates that across America’s 50 largest cities, at least 23 have seen chiefs or line officers resign, retire, or take disability this year,” the news source reported. “Nearly 3,700 beat cops have left, a large proportion from the New York Police Department (down 7% of its officers) but with big drops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and elsewhere, too. The Major Cities Chiefs Association told the Wall Street Journal that 18 of its 69 member executives had retired, resigned, or been fired over the past year.”