DC Police Union released a statement Monday, claiming that the city’s police reform bill that passed last summer has negative impacts on the Department.
The passage of the bill has led to a spike in crime in DC’s most vulnerable communities and the resignation of officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) “at an alarming rate,” according to the statement.
The Union said it had made both predictions about the bill in a press release on June 8.
A total of 313 police officers have either retired or resigned from MPD since June 2020, when the bill went into effect, said the statement, adding “This is an unprecedented number to lose in this time frame.”
— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) May 3, 2021
Out of the officers who left MPD, 49 percent — approximately 150 members — have resigned. “The total strength of the rank-and-file is less than 3,300, the lowest number in decades,” the Union said.
The Department has 3623 sworn members at present.
“Most of the members who have left cited the Council’s new Bill, which not only makes their jobs harder, but now endangers them and their families. Members feel they do not have the support of elected leadership and believe they have been demonized by the Council,” it added.
Speaking to the media, Gregg Pemberton, chairman of the DC Police Union, said “I think by the time we get one year out from June 1st, we’re probably going to be looking at upwards of 400 members have left.”
DC’s Acting Police Chief Robert Contee, who was unanimously confirmed Tuesday as the city’s new police chief, also commented on the issue, saying “We’re not down to 3,300. But the numbers are reduced, it is a concern. We’ve been talking about a shrinking workforce for some time now. This is not the first time that this has occurred.”