This summer, a headhunter called Lashinda Stair, second-in-command at the Detroit Police Department, and asked if she was interested in potentially becoming the chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Her answer: “Absolutely not.”
In a year that has seen protests in the street, defiant unions, and mayors who are quick to push out police chiefs, the job of running a police department has become less coveted among many law-enforcement leaders. They say what used to be the pinnacle of achievement in their profession is now a job in which it is difficult to implement changes and easy to get blamed when things go wrong, Fox Business reports.
“There’s a lot of folks that are hesitant when they see chiefs are getting beat up and getting thrown under the bus by their bosses,” said Art Acevedo, Houston’s police chief and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents chiefs from 69 of the country’s largest cities.
Eighteen chiefs from those 69 cities have resigned, retired, been pushed out or fired since protests and increased calls for police accountability and reform began after George Floyd’s death in May, according to Acevedo. Though the group doesn’t keep records, it’s an unusually high number in such a short time, he said.