Joe Gamaldi — national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police — on Tuesday told Fox News that the media and politicians are "burning down the institution of policing" in America and turning it into a "dying" profession.
Fox News added that Gamaldi — also a sergeant in the Houston police department — told the show's producer that the recent spike in police resignations and retirements, as well as the drop in recruitments and applications, is something he's "never seen."
What else did he say?
An animated and angry Gamali spelled out the crisis for the cable network:
For the better part of a decade, we've had the media and politicians systematically burning down the institution of policing in this country, and now we're just living in the ashes. Retirements are up nationwide 45%. Resignations are up 20%. The NYPD saw a 40% spike in people leaving the department. In Seattle, they're having hundreds of police officers leave their department. And the sad part is ... we don't have anybody to take their place! Because recruitment is tanking worse than the stock market was last week! Applications are down 40% in Massachusetts, 80% down in New Jersey. In Illinois, they're down 70%; Chicago alone has seen an 83% reduction in applications. This is leading to dangerous understaffing on the streets at a time when violence against us is through the roof ... Response times are through the roof. We don't even have people to investigate the crimes! In Seattle, they're not investigating sexual assault cases because they need all hands on deck on the street. I've been a police officer for 17 years ... It is not hyperbole when I say our profession is dying. We have been denigrated. We've been demonized. And we've been treated like crap for years. And we're all sick of it.
Fox News pointed out that so far this year, 173 cops have been shot in the line of duty; in the same time period last year, the number was 158.
Gamaldi also told the cable network that 2020's infamous "defund the police" outcry after George Floyd died in the hands of Minneapolis officers was the culmination of inflammatory rhetoric against police.
He also argued that policing is the only profession in America aside from the armed forces that involves the daily prospect of people who are "actively trying to kill us."