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Chicago police officers are retiring at a rate of twice the average in the U.S.
Law enforcement leaders are blaming longer working hours as well as a lack of support from failing Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot.
At least 110 total officers are planning on retiring between August and September.
The normal average is about 24 a month.
TheChicago Sun Times has the story:
Chicago police officers have been retiring at double the normal rate recently, raising concerns that the number of new hires won’t keep pace with the number leaving.
Michael Lappe, vice president of the board of trustees for the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, said 59 police officers are retiring in August, with another 51 retirements set for next month.
“That’s unheard of,” Lappe said. “We’re seeing double the average number of retirees each month. The average is about 24 a month.”
He said a change in health insurance benefits is a factor, while the police union president blames Mayor Lori Lightfoot for not backing police officers.
Retirements in 2020 are on pace to be higher than in any of the past few years. There were 335 police retirements through the end of July, compared with 475 for all of 2019 and 339 for all of 2018, according to pension records.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), former chairman of the city council’s police committee, said he realized retirements were on the rise when he was at police headquarters for a meeting last week.
“From the time I walked in to police headquarters to the time I left, which was about 35 minutes, there were nine or 10 officers who approached me and said they were leaving,” he said. “Every person who walked past me said, ‘Hey, Beale, I’m out of here.’ ”
John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, said he sees a wave of retirements leaving the city short of cops.
“I have no doubt that it’s going to continue, and I can clearly see a smaller spike within the upper ranks [of] lieutenants and above,” Catanzara said. “Who wants to stay in this environment? If you have the ability to leave, there is no incentive to stay anymore.
“The mayor doesn’t back us,” he said. “If you have the financial ability to do so, I don’t blame a single soul for leaving.”
Of course, who can blame any of these officers for wanting out, when Mayor Lightfoot would rather keep one foot in with protesters by continually referring to the "vast majority" of protests in her city as "peaceful?"
Meanwhile, police officers have to depend on a "pancake breakfast" to raise money for bullet-proof vests.
But mayor Lightfoot's most rediculous defense is blaming other States for her city's problems.
Ald. Anthony Beale is concerned that it's only a matter of time before officers are completely burned out by all the extra work that piles up due to the shortage of police.
Our friends at Fox News have more:
“We’re way short of officers now, and I’m afraid, as people go to retire, we’re going to be even further short of officers on the street,” he(Beale) continued. “We’re working officers double-time, triple-time. It’s only a matter of time before officers are totally burned out.”
Protests, skirmishes, and riots within the past couple of weeks in Chicago have seen at least 30 officers injured, according to reports.
During an interview with Fox & Friends following the looting earlier this month that resulted in more than 100 people arrested and 13 officers injured, Beale remarked that: “I think the mayor has lost the confidence and the control of this city."
Meanwhile, in New York, a number of NYPD officers filing for retirement has soared, according to a report last month. A total of 503 officers filed for retirement between May 25 and July 3, which was a 75 percent jump compared to 2019.
In Seattle, a police officer was captured on video Saturday telling an apparent Black Lives Matter protester that he was resigning from the department, and saying: “You guys won.”
Lappe added that a sustained wave of retirements in Chicago could potentially harm the financial health of the pension system, adding that 850 more retirees were drawing from it compared to those working on active duty.
Why anyone would still want to be a police officer in Chicago right now is a wonder.
The last few months have not been kind to the police, especially in Chicago, where mayor Lightfoot has hung them out to dry.