At least 32 police chiefs in Minnesota have retired this year — more than half of which were in the metro Twin Cities area — and another dozen retired in 2020. 

Communities across the country are seeing a similar exodus. The nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum surveyed nearly 200 police agencies this summer and found a 45% increase in the retirement rate nationwide.

In interviews with the Star-Tribune, some former Minnesota chiefs cited fatigue and anti-police sentiment as part of their rationale for leaving.

"They're stressed out, in some cases, perhaps slightly burned out," said retired Bloomington police chief Jeff Potts, who is now executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. "And when they are afforded the opportunity to retire — perhaps even a little bit earlier than they otherwise would have — they're just choosing to do that, because I believe it's probably one of the most difficult jobs to do in this country today."