With last year in our rearview mirror, 2022 is a chance to reset and start fresh after 2021 had many of us limping to the finish line. It’s no secret that the past year was a whirlwind for law enforcement around the country. COVID-19 — and the vaccines, variants and deaths that have come with it — continues to take a toll on our personal and professional lives.
Violence against officers has also reached an all-time high in 2021. It was reported (tinyurl.com/4uh9487j) that over 300 officers were shot in the line of duty as of December 1, including 95 ambush-style attacks — a 126% increase compared to 2020.
Attacks against law enforcement have always been an issue, but the violence is at a level I’ve never seen in my 23 years here at LVMPD.
When you add in the lack of support we receive from some of our politicians and the slap on the wrist many criminals receive for their abhorrent actions, it’s no wonder we’re seeing officers leaving the profession in droves. A recent survey (tinyurl.com/2p983s4j) of nearly 200 departments by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit think tank, shows a staggering 45% increase in the retirement rate and a nearly 20% increase in resignations in 2020–21 compared to the year prior.
All the keyboard warriors and Monday morning quarterbacks have never had to strap on a bulletproof vest and risk their own personal safety for someone they have never met.
Despite what the media claims, law enforcement is still one of the most honorable professions out there. All the keyboard warriors and Monday morning quarterbacks have never had to strap on a bulletproof vest and risk their own personal safety for someone they have never met. Let those people run their mouths in the media because when push comes to shove, real heroes wear a badge. They aren’t actors or journalists or sports figures. The real heroes are the everyday first responders who do a dangerous job to keep our community safe.
As your LVPPA president, I see firsthand all the retirements and resignations, and it gives me some concern that we are losing so many officers so rapidly. The Department, along with the City and the County, should be thinking of ways to incentivize police work even more than they already have. Bringing back longevity would be a great start in that direction, a topic that both sheriff’s candidates have stated they would be willing to support in future contract negotiations. But I am also grateful that every officer who was able to retire on their own has made it safely through this dangerous profession and can now spend their days doing things they have always dreamed about doing.
To all our retirees this year, have a wonderful retirement. You have most certainly earned it.
There’s no doubt we’ve been through a tough year, but we will walk into the new year with a renewed sense of who we are as a profession and why we do what we do. As always, thank you all for your continued membership and trust in the PPA. Have a great year, and please be safe.