St. Louis police department resignations stack up as leaders sound the alarm: 'reaching critical mass'

Resignations have continued piling up at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department this year, setting off concerns from top law enforcement leaders. 

"We’re reaching critical mass," St. Louis Police Officers Association President Jay Schroeder said this month of staffing issues on the city’s force. 

About 819 officers have left the department since 2017, according to the St. Louis Police Pension Board. The department lost an average of 119 officers each year between 2017 and 2019. In 2020, 129 officers left the force, with an additional 174 leaving in 2021, according to the pension data. 

St. Louis, which often ranks as one of the least safe cities in the country, joins a growing list of police departments across the country that are bleeding officers in recent years, most notably after calls to defund the police echoed across the nation in 2020. 

ST. LOUIS CHECKS IN AS AMERICA'S MOST DANGEROUS CITY WHILE BALTIMORE SUBURB RANKS AS THE SAFEST: STUDY

Data provided to Fox News Digital by the St. Louis Police Department shows that, as of Tuesday, the force has 1,035 commissioned employees. 

Police department data shows the number of authorized employees has fallen each year since 2020. There were a total of 1,205 commissioned employees at the start of 2020, 1,198 in January 2021, and 1,128 in January of this year. 

Interim Police Chief Michael Sack sent an email to staff this month detailing the department has 811 police officers and detectives as of Oct. 3, down from the 905 police officers and detectives the force had at the beginning of October 2021. 

"This puts a burden on us to perform our duties with fewer officers," he wrote, KSDK reported earlier this month. "We must pay attention to staffing in the line platoons and on squads. No squad should have fewer than five officers with the optimum number being seven officers. I wish I could give you more, but this is the reality." 

VIOLENT CRIMES ON THE RISE IN 2022, FOLLOWING PREVIOUS UNPRECEDENTED SPIKE IN MURDERS

"I am working hard to find ways to put more officers on the line platoons. These officers and sergeants provide a great service to our community and they need the support of all of us to help them do their jobs effectively and safely," the email later stated. 

At police headquarters, a pile of discarded uniforms known as "Mount Exodus" has also grown, KSDK reported. Outgoing cops have been putting their old uniforms on a pile that has grown higher than seven feet tall and 10 feet wide, and even blocks some surrounding doorways, the outlet reported. 

There have been about 71 new hires in 2022, according to the outlet. 

Despite concerns from law enforcement leadership in the area, Mayor Tishaura Jones said staffing levels at the department are sufficient, according to KSDK. She cited a 2020 study showing the city has more officers per capita compared to similar sized-cities, the outlet reported. 

"We have enough officers, we need to do a better job of retaining and recruiting them," St. Louis Public Safety Director Dan Isom added. 

MISSOURI LOOTER FACES SENTENCING IN MURDER OF RETIRED ST. LOUIS POLICE CAPTAIN DURING 2020 GEORGE FLOYD RIOTS

Jones, who was sworn in as mayor last year, campaigned on a safety policy of "putting the public back in public safety." Her campaign website states that "defunding the police does not mean abolishing the police," instead it means "restructuring the department and reallocating the budget to programs and resources that actually prevent crime."

Fox News Digital reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the staffing levels but did not immediately receive a reply. 

St. Louis is far from alone in reporting staffing shortages and an increase in resignations – cities across the country have reported more of the same.

MASSIVE INCREASE IN BLACK AMERICANS MURDERED WAS RESULT OF DEFUND POLICE MOVEMENT: EXPERTS

The Chicago Police Department reported the lowest number of employees in recent history at the end of March. The Seattle Police Department reached a 30-year staffing low this year. The vice president of the Philadelphia FOP Lodge sounded the alarm in August that the department is set to lose 800 officers in the next four years. 

"We see law enforcement officers leave our profession at a rate we've never seen before," National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes said at the Faith & Blue conference in Washington, D.C., in August. "Our profession is dependent on the best and brightest stepping up and taking this job. And because of the actions, and because of the turmoil that has happened in the last two years, we have a crisis right now in manpower."

ST. LOUIS' MURDER RATE, ALREADY HIGHEST IN US, SOARED LAST YEAR; MAYOR VOWS TO DEFUND THE POLICE

Some analysts have attributed the staffing shortages to recent anti-police rhetoric and the defund the police movement that swept the nation in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. 

"Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a very difficult time in American history in the last two years. America's law enforcement has been demonized by many. It has created a rift within this country and eroded the very trust of the institution and the profession of law enforcement," Yoes added during his remarks. "And we're paying for it. We're paying for it in our communities with higher crime. And we're also paying for it in law enforcement officers."


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Resignations have continued piling up at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department this year, setting off concerns from top law enforcement leaders. 

"We’re reaching critical mass," St. Louis Police Officers Association President Jay Schroeder said this month of staffing issues on the city’s force. 

About 819 officers have left the department since 2017, according to the St. Louis Police Pension Board. The department lost an average of 119 officers each year between 2017 and 2019. In 2020, 129 officers left the force, with an additional 174 leaving in 2021, according to the pension data. 

St. Louis, which often ranks as one of the least safe cities in the country, joins a growing list of police departments across the country that are bleeding officers in recent years, most notably after calls to defund the police echoed across the nation in 2020. 

ST. LOUIS CHECKS IN AS AMERICA'S MOST DANGEROUS CITY WHILE BALTIMORE SUBURB RANKS AS THE SAFEST: STUDY

Data provided to Fox News Digital by the St. Louis Police Department shows that, as of Tuesday, the force has 1,035 commissioned employees. 

Police department data shows the number of authorized employees has fallen each year since 2020. There were a total of 1,205 commissioned employees at the start of 2020, 1,198 in January 2021, and 1,128 in January of this year. 

Interim Police Chief Michael Sack sent an email to staff this month detailing the department has 811 police officers and detectives as of Oct. 3, down from the 905 police officers and detectives the force had at the beginning of October 2021. 

"This puts a burden on us to perform our duties with fewer officers," he wrote, KSDK reported earlier this month. "We must pay attention to staffing in the line platoons and on squads. No squad should have fewer than five officers with the optimum number being seven officers. I wish I could give you more, but this is the reality." 

VIOLENT CRIMES ON THE RISE IN 2022, FOLLOWING PREVIOUS UNPRECEDENTED SPIKE IN MURDERS

"I am working hard to find ways to put more officers on the line platoons. These officers and sergeants provide a great service to our community and they need the support of all of us to help them do their jobs effectively and safely," the email later stated. 

At police headquarters, a pile of discarded uniforms known as "Mount Exodus" has also grown, KSDK reported. Outgoing cops have been putting their old uniforms on a pile that has grown higher than seven feet tall and 10 feet wide, and even blocks some surrounding doorways, the outlet reported. 

There have been about 71 new hires in 2022, according to the outlet. 

Despite concerns from law enforcement leadership in the area, Mayor Tishaura Jones said staffing levels at the department are sufficient, according to KSDK. She cited a 2020 study showing the city has more officers per capita compared to similar sized-cities, the outlet reported. 

"We have enough officers, we need to do a better job of retaining and recruiting them," St. Louis Public Safety Director Dan Isom added. 

MISSOURI LOOTER FACES SENTENCING IN MURDER OF RETIRED ST. LOUIS POLICE CAPTAIN DURING 2020 GEORGE FLOYD RIOTS

Jones, who was sworn in as mayor last year, campaigned on a safety policy of "putting the public back in public safety." Her campaign website states that "defunding the police does not mean abolishing the police," instead it means "restructuring the department and reallocating the budget to programs and resources that actually prevent crime."

Fox News Digital reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the staffing levels but did not immediately receive a reply. 

St. Louis is far from alone in reporting staffing shortages and an increase in resignations – cities across the country have reported more of the same.

MASSIVE INCREASE IN BLACK AMERICANS MURDERED WAS RESULT OF DEFUND POLICE MOVEMENT: EXPERTS

The Chicago Police Department reported the lowest number of employees in recent history at the end of March. The Seattle Police Department reached a 30-year staffing low this year. The vice president of the Philadelphia FOP Lodge sounded the alarm in August that the department is set to lose 800 officers in the next four years. 

"We see law enforcement officers leave our profession at a rate we've never seen before," National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes said at the Faith & Blue conference in Washington, D.C., in August. "Our profession is dependent on the best and brightest stepping up and taking this job. And because of the actions, and because of the turmoil that has happened in the last two years, we have a crisis right now in manpower."

ST. LOUIS' MURDER RATE, ALREADY HIGHEST IN US, SOARED LAST YEAR; MAYOR VOWS TO DEFUND THE POLICE

Some analysts have attributed the staffing shortages to recent anti-police rhetoric and the defund the police movement that swept the nation in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. 

"Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a very difficult time in American history in the last two years. America's law enforcement has been demonized by many. It has created a rift within this country and eroded the very trust of the institution and the profession of law enforcement," Yoes added during his remarks. "And we're paying for it. We're paying for it in our communities with higher crime. And we're also paying for it in law enforcement officers."

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