'I'm Out of Here': Chicago Cops Jumping Ship at Alarming Rate


Chicago police officers are retiring at twice the average rate, according to law enforcement officials who blame strenuous working hours and lack of support from the mayor, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

A total of 59 officers will retire in August, and another 51 retirements are set for the month of September, Michael Lappe of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The recent totals are more than double the average monthly retirement rate of 24 officers, Lappe told the Times.

“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,” former chairman of the City Council’s police committee Anthony Beale said.

“Every person who walked past me said, ‘Hey, Beale, I’m out of here.’”

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Total retirements in 2020 have reached 335 through the end of July, compared to 475 for all of last year and 339 for the entirety of 2018, according to the Times.

President of the Fraternal Order of Police John Catanzara attributes the uptick in retirements to a lack of support from Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“Who wants to stay in this environment? If you have the ability to leave, there is no incentive to stay anymore,” Cantanzara told the Times.

“The mayor doesn’t back us. If you have the financial ability to do so, I don’t blame a single soul for leaving.”

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Beale, who said Chicago is short on officers, suggested long working hours and persistent overtime demands may be to blame for the exodus.

“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,” Beale said.

“We’re working officers double-time, triple-time. It’s only a matter of time before officers are totally burned out.”

July was the bloodiest month in Chicago in 28 years, with 105 murders and 585 shooting victims, according to Block Club Chicago.

The death toll is double July 2019’s 48 murders.

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