NYPD continues bleeding officers, with many relocating to Florida where they are actually wanted and appreciated

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The following includes editorial content written by a retired Police Chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

NEW YORK CITY- Why would anyone stay where they are clearly not wanted? Such is the case for police officers in New York City, many who have taken the hint and moved where they are not only appreciated, but they are rewarded for risking their lives on a daily basis.

The Washington Times reports that NYPD officers are leaving the department in droves and seeking employment with better salaries and working conditions, some for departments as far away as Colorado. As of November, 1,225 officers resigned from the NYPD before they had even reached five years of service, the New York Times reported.

By way of contrast, in 2021 there were only 870 such resignations and only 477 in 2020. In sum, nearly 10% of the NYPD’s authorized strength of 34,000, which includes retirees have left the country’s largest police agency, the biggest such number since 2002, a year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

CBS New York reports that many of those officers have relocated to Florida, where a warmer climate and numerous incentives have attracted police officers to the Sunshine State.

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, well aware of the anti-police climate in states such as New York, made it known that Florida not only welcomed officers looking to switch departments, but would incentivize them to do so.

In September 2021, DeSantis said:

“It’s a way to capitalize off some of the folks who are not getting the support they need and say, you know what, you will be supported in Florida,” Desantis said at the time. “We will make sure we do our best to make sure it’s worth your while.”

In the case of one former NYPD detective, Efrain Collado, DeSantis’s words encouraged him to make the move to Florida.

“What he has done is smart,” Collado said. “Going on national TV and telling police officers and first responders, ‘I want you,’ it’s huge to hear that.”

Collado had actually retired from the NYPD when he made the decision to take DeSantis up on his offer and decided to pin on a badge again, this time in the state of Florida.

The Florida program, called “Be A Florida Hero,” offers police officers sign-on bonuses of $5,000, down payment assistance for first-time homeowners, and up to $10,000 to assist in adoption of a child.

NYPD continues bleeding officers, with many relocating to Florida where they are actually wanted and appreciated
Florida offers incentive program for lateral transfer officers.

DeSantis said Florida has been recruiting police officers from across the nation, especially from departments where morale is low, which includes the NYPD.

On Monday, DeSantis tweeted that thus far, over 600 police officers from across the country have moved to Florida and joined police departments across the state.

In part, DeSantis tweeted:

“We are proud to welcome law enforcement officers from across the nation to Florida, where they are appreciated.”

Unlike cities such as New York, which is a primary target of DeSantis’s recruitment efforts.

https://fundourpolice.com/

While some questioned whether the tactics taken by DeSantis are legal (and why wouldn’t they be?) a litigation attorney said it is completely so.

“Bottom line is, there is freedom to go,” Richard Roth, a litigation attorney at the Roth Firm said. “There’s noting wrong with it. All you’re doing is inducing someone to start a job in a new location. The government can do it, an employer can do it.”

Even moving companies are getting into the act, helping entice NYPD officers to move south to warmer weather and a greater appreciation for their sacrifices.

“My goal here isn’t to deplete the NYPD of their officers. These are officers who are already contemplating leaving,” Spero Georgedakis, Founder and CEO of Good Greek Moving and Storage said.

He told CBS New York he is currently spending $20,000 a month on commercials to advertise the program, and is offering discounts to any NYPD officers looking to take Gov. DeSantis up on his deal. Georgedakis estimates helping some 100 NYPD officers move to Florida.

“As a former police officer and leader in my industry, I am going to make sure these families make it to where they want to go,” Georgedakis said.

CBS New York reached out to the office of New York Mayor Eric Adams, who referred them to the NYPD, which offered no comment on the matter.

One who did give a statement was Patrick J. Lynch, president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association in statement to the Times.

“Other communities are recognizing the talent and are approaching our members,” said Lynch. “If we pay our police officers a market rate of pay, they will stay here. We know that’s the answer because that’s what these other departments and jurisdictions are doing, with success.”

The starting salary for a NYPD officer is $42,500 per year, plus benefits, which tops out at $85,292 after 5-1/2 years. Taken in concert with the cost of living in the New York metro area, that number is a pittance.

Contrast that, for example, with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where starting salaries range from $67,621 to $104,395, depending on experience.

Furthermore, lateral transfer officers with at least one year of experience may only need to take an Equivalency of Training (EOT) course in order to qualify as an officer. And they will pay officers to take the course while attending. Moreover Florida does not have an income tax, unlike New York.

In Aurora, Colorado, the city offers up to $15,000 in lateral hiring incentives, and a starting salary of $86,000 for officers with three years of experience; over $100,000 for those with four years of experience.

In a statement to the New York Times, they NYPD says it is monitoring attrition and backfilling roles.

“The NYPD regularly monitors attrition and plans accordingly to address the loss of officers who retire or leave the department for a variety of reasons,” the department said in a statement. “Year-to-date we have hired approximately 2,000 individuals, including 600 individuals who were hired in October and have been training at the Police Academy.”


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