NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday weighed in on a report that nearly 3,000 veteran NYPD officers are eligible for retirement this month.
The officers entered the Police Academy 20 years ago – in August 1993 – as the first class to be hired under the 1994 Safe City, Safe Streets program, according to a New York Post report. The program was developed by then-newly inaugurated Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in an effort to rid the streets of crack, the newspaper reported.
But officers are eligible to retire after putting in 20 years, and the NYPD force could be cut dramatically because the officers were all hired together, the newspaper reported.
But Bloomberg emphasized that just because officers can retire after 20 years does not mean they are required, or even likely, to do so.
“I don’t know that a lot of cops are going to retire,” Bloomberg told 1010 WINS. “I think it’s a wonderful job, and a lot of cops that I meet have stayed on a lot past 20 years, and I would hope that lots of them would do that.”
Bloomberg said he would hate to see so many veteran officers leave the NYPD.
“It would be a shame to lose their experience,” he said.
But sources told the Post about 80 percent of rank-and-file officers do indeed retire after 20 years, and said 1,246 officers from a new Police Academy class will hardly make up the difference.
The Safe City, Safe Streets program added about 7,000 officers in all over a period of five years, the newspaper reported. The force topped out at 40,800 officers in 2001, but has now dropped to about 35,000, the newspaper reported.
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