With anti-police campaigns continuing to intensify in 2021, many Americans are wondering why any officers are still willing to work in urban areas. Louisville officers have asked themselves that same question over the last year, and their answer is crippling the city Police Department as officers quit in response to ongoing attacks from the media and the new Biden Justice Department investigations into the actions of the Louisville police.
Feds investigating Breonna Taylor case
The Louisville Police Department is one of a number which has been specifically targeted over the past year in response to the death of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor was killed during an exchange of gunfire which erupted when officers raided her home in a narcotics raid directed at her boyfriend, who opened fire on police.
The death of Breonna Taylor has been one of the most publicized by the BLM movement, frequently and falsely being described as a “no-knock raid.”
The incident is now that inspiration for a new investigation into the department by the Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland, who claimed that they would be investigated for unlawfully executing search warrants.
This investigation is accompanied by others from the Biden Administration, most prominently an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department which was announced following the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
None of the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor have been criminally charged for her death, though BLM protesters continue to call for their arrests.
Louisville police quit in droves
Under this national pressure, Louisville police officers have been quitting in large numbers. 188 left the force in 2020, with a majority resigning rather than retiring, compared to only 104 new hires.
In 2021 thus far 43 police officers have left, with only 26 new hires. This rapid hemorrhage in numbers threatens to leave the department drastically under strength and lacking in experienced officers.
A spokesman for the Louisville Metro Officer Union described the manpower situation as “critically low,” going on to explain that the pool of potential recruits is shrinking dramatically.
The most recent LMPD recruitment class graduated with only 15 new officers, as opposed to the 48 who the department is capable of graduating in one class.
Police officers in Louisville are evidently giving BLM what they have been asking for by quitting the force in such numbers and there are understandably few individuals who are willing to replace them in their thankless jobs.
A sorely undermanned police department may be a disaster for Louisville, but for the officers and the potential recruits who have turned away, this “blue exodus” is a timely escape from an increasingly grim line of work.