Atlanta cops retiring over ‘poor’ leadership in department, ‘NO backing from command’

One of the consequences of alienating police officers through the “Defund the Police” movement is manifesting itself in resignations and retirements due to the disrespect for officers attempting to uphold the rule of law.

In Atlanta, several police officers have tendered their resignations due to the direction they see the Atlanta police department headed.

“Until last week, I was proud to tell everyone that I met that I work for the Atlanta Police Department,” wrote Lt. Mark Cooper, a 26-year veteran officer in his June resignation letter according to a report by the Washington Examiner.

Cooper intended to reach 30 years of service before retirement but felt compelled to end his career early given the department’s increasingly toxic climate.

His pride as a police officer turned into disappointment when six Atlanta police officers were arrested recently after a video of a protest went viral which showed the officers pulling two college students out of their cars. The incident added fuel to the growing tensions between law enforcement and the citizens of Atlanta. Cooper explained that the officers were acting in good faith and following protocols, but the department’s leadership didn’t support them.

“The direction this department has taken is nothing more than sad,” he said. “I was a long-time believer in our leadership, but I am now disappointed to find out just truly how poor it is.”

Cooper explained he resigned because he couldn’t “represent a department that does not support the backbone of that very department. It’s disheartening and it’s demoralizing.”

Officer Thomas A. Crowder, an Atlanta native, also called it quits after the incident despite always having dreamed of going into law enforcement.

“Today is my last day as a City of Atlanta employee and I would never have thought that I would be so happy to leave,” he wrote in his resignation letter on June 17.

“I can not see a reason that [an] officer who has been on the department less than 20 [years] would not leave. At this moment you guys have NO backing from your command staff,” he added. “It is crazy that they could ask you to stay at work or even leave the precinct knowing that they are not going to have your back and is willing to fire you as soon as a citizen complains.”

Cooper and Crowder’s sentiments seem to be shared by many police officers who are tired of the lack of leadership and support in their departments.

A June survey confirmed that police departments across the country have decreased morale and increased retirements. The survey was completed by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum, and included responses from almost 200 departments which indicated a 45 percent uptick in retirements and an 18 percent increase in resignations in 2020-21 as compared to the prior year.

“We are in uncharted territory right now,” the nonprofit’s Executive Director Chuck Wexler said according to the Washington Examiner. “Policing is being challenged in ways I haven’t seen, ever.”

In April, Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell described the increasing intolerance for cops after the death of George Floyd, stating that the far-left has “declared war” on the police.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who will not be seeking a second term, blamed the rise in crime on Covid, and not the radical anti-cop policies. But the draconian anti-police sentiments have forced one affluent Atlanta suburb to demand its own police force amid rising crime.

Bill White, CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, which is heading up the move to turn Buckhead into its own city, said that although the would-be city would face an uphill battle, they’d ensure that the police would be confident in doing their jobs.

“We’ve decided to stay [in Buckhead] and fight,” White said. “And when we prevail and this gets on the ballot, we know it’s going to sail through. There is no question about it. We will get crime under control. We love police officers here and want them not to be afraid to do their jobs.”

Ashley Hill

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