Plummeting morale sends at least eight Atlanta police officers packing this month

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At least eight officers have resigned from the Atlanta Police Department this month as morale plummeted, a police organization and the department said Monday.
The exits compare with the average of two per month so far this year, the department said.
The Atlanta Police Foundation, a private group that partners with the city to prevent and fight crime, had alleged 19 officers had resigned this month — a figure the city refuted.
“There has been a claim circulating that 19 Atlanta Police Department officers resigned over the weekend,” the police department said in a statement obtained by WAGA-TV. “We have checked with the source of that claim and they are planning to issue a retraction of that statement because it is not correct and was not verified by APD.”
The department then verified eight officers had quit since the beginning of June.
“Our personnel data indicates that we have had anywhere from two to six officers resign per month in 2020,” the department said.
What the group and the city seemed to agree on was morale is plummeting.
“We are now going into the third consecutive week of unabated protests in which officers have worked 12-hour shifts seven days per week,” the police foundation told WAGA. “As you can imagine, their stress levels are exacerbated by physical and emotional exhaustion. We are grateful for the sacrifices they are making every day and will continue to support them while accelerating the programs under the Atlanta Police Foundation’s mission in order to address police reform and other issues the protests and their aftermath have illuminated.”
Police and residents were still reeling from protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the pushback for police brutality and racism, when an officer shot a black man in Atlanta over the weekend. Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot in the back by former officer Garrett Rolfe, who was fired. But protests resurged throughout the city, and police chief Ericka Shields stepped down.
On Monday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced reforms centered around mandating the use of de-escalation techniques so as to “avoid or minimize the use of physical force,” The Hill reported.
At the same time, she said, she was aware that cops are suffering.
“The morale is bad right now,” Bottoms said, according to WXIA-TV. “My understanding is that it’s really bad, it’s understandably so.”
She also said police are being scrutinized all over the country.
“It’s bad across the country because of what’s happening across the country and the scrutiny and focus and a lot of the anger and frustration that’s directed at our police department,” she added. “And I don’t think Atlanta is any different.”

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