US Saw Uptick in Police Officer Hiring in 2023

( – For the first time since the 2020 killing of George Floyd, police departments across the country are experiencing an increase in hiring and retention rates of officers.

According to a survey conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), more officers were recruited last year than in any of the past four years.

The survey also found that fewer officers than usual resigned or retired in 2023. This marks a significant turnaround from a period when many officers left the force, leading to stretched resources, slower emergency response times and increased crimes.

After Floyd’s death, far-left activists and politicians fueled the “Defund the Police” campaign and urged government authorities to cut down the number of officers, which created visible hate among the public for the law enforcement agency.

This disturbing trend also saw an unprecedented number of officers leaving their jobs and some even taking early retirements, a trend that is now changing.

The Executive Director of PERF, Chuck Wexler, expressed optimism about the changing dynamics of police recruitment in 2023. However, Wexler maintained that police departments across the country are still not completely out of trouble.

According to the findings, small and medium-sized police departments have increased their officer counts compared to January 2020. However, large departments remain over 5% short of their 2020 staffing levels despite seeing a yearly recruiting rise from 2022 to 2023.

Meanwhile, smaller police departments with less than 50 officers are still grappling with high resignation and retirement rates. As the survey collected numerical data only, it is difficult to determine whether departing officers are moving to larger departments or completely exiting law enforcement, Wexler added.

Maria Haberfield, a renowned criminologist, however, suggested that police departments are only focusing on increasing their manpower, even if it means lowering the education requirements and other thresholds that typically increase barriers to entry in law enforcement.

Haberfield added that policing requires tough mental capabilities and maturity, which should never be compromised just to increase the number of officers in the departments.

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