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Police & Fire

Nearly A Dozen Police Have Left City Department Amid National Wave Of Quitting Cops

Police, sirens Photo Credit: Image by Alicia Zinn from Pixabay
Northampton Police Station Photo Credit: Northampton PD

About 10 police officers have departed from a Western Massachusetts city following "defund the police" budget cuts over the summer.

And another 11 officers have put in an application for employment in other departments.

The exodus marks a problem with morale at the Northampton Police Department in the wake of calls to “defund the police,” subsequent budget cuts, and protests against law enforcement, Chief Jody Kasper told MassLive.

Cuts were announced in June when city officials were hammering out the annual budget. The police department’s proposed $6.7 million budget was reduced by 10 percent.

Since that time 7 officers have resigned and three were laid off, Kasper said.

A wave of police resignations has hit the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and a call for changes in law enforcement that includes less money for traditional police budgets. The policy has been referred to as “defund the policy” and the idea is that money taken from the police budget could be used to buffer social services and allow police to focus on major crimes.

Many communities have reduced police budgets and created new policing policies in an effort to reduce police brutality and racial imbalance in how laws are enforced. However, the second part of the defund the police campaign - the added support from social services - does not appear to have materialized as quickly.

Anecdotal evidence from police departments from Seattle to Atlanta to Minneapolis to Buffalo have reported scores of police officers resigning, according to CNN and various media outlets.

In a survey of the nation’s 50 largest cities, at least 23 have seen chiefs or line officers resign, retire or take disability this year, according to City Journal.

Replacing officers has not been easy as recruiting is down as well.

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