Chicago lost 900 officers last year while graduating only 247 to replace them. Former police officers point to a significant surge in resignations – 264 last year — as a sign the exodus is about more than officers calling it a career and retiring. 

The 264 resignations last year mark a 149 percent increase from 2020 and a 400 percent increase from 2017.

“What you have in effect, there is 264 people last year who said basically; ‘I don’t see a future with the Chicago Police Department. I don’t see a future in the City of Chicago. I’m going somewhere else”,” retired chief of detectives Eugene Roy told WGN9.

In 2018 Chicago had more than 13,000 police officers. Now that number is down to 11,845, a decline of 11%. According to information from the Chicago Police Department 598 officers left in 2017, 436 in 2018, 578 in 2019, and 652 in 2020.

“People make good arrests, do great police work, and the cases don’t get approved for felonies or don’t get prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It’s frustrating,” Roy said in an interview. “There’s a sense that the city doesn’t have the officers’ backs.”