NEW YORK – It appears that low morale is sending NYPD officers to the exits in large numbers. Statistics now reveal that resignations are higher than usual. Moreover, union officials have taken notice, reported ny1.com.

Hundreds of police officers packed into a Queens catering hall this week to learn more about their retirement benefits. Hence, the police union says 1200 people is the largest group they have ever had for a pension seminar. Furthermore, the union says it’s a sign many officers may be ready to walk away from the job.

“That’s going to be a brain drain on the department, the experience we have on the street is now leaving,” said PBA President Pat Lynch.

After 20 years as a New York City officer, a person can retire with a full pension no matter their age. Lynch says many officers are fed up with the job. The biggest grievance is lack of support. He said officers do not believe they have the backing of the mayor and the department.

“Besides those police officers that are planning to retire it is hundreds of younger police officers who are leaving for higher paying jurisdictions. That’s just wrong,” said Lynch. “We are the lowest paid police department locally.”

The starting salary for an NYPD patrol officer is $43,000 a year. That goes up to $87,000 after five years, according to NY1.

The union and the city are currently negotiating a contract. As you might imagine, pay raises are the big issue.

It is also a big reason the police union is once again blasting the de Blasio administration.

According to union statistics, in each of the last two years about 1,500 officers retired.

Based upon the ny1 report, that is actually down from prior years.

However, in terms of officers who resign and just walk away without a pension, those numbers are going up. The union says in 2011, 169 officers resigned. Last year, that number jumped up to 517. The increase in resignations is alarming.

“We hear everyone say we’re the safest big city in America. That didn’t happen by magic. It’s because of the women and men that are in our radio cars. Those who are planning on leaving the job now,” Lynch said.

Holy Crap

NYPD motor officers. (Photo courtesy Juan Beltran)

Some officers who did not want to appear on camera say they worry with body cameras and the neighborhood policing strategy, one wrong move and they could be fired.

Others say after 20 years of patrolling the streets, it’s simply time to go.

“These newer kids are going to have a harder time learning. They don’t have the senior officer staying on and teaching them how to do the job the right way. And how to lead them into doing it smartly. So it’s going to affect the city big,” said one NYPD officer.