CHICAGO, IL – A former Chicago police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke with CBS about the massive amounts of officers fleeing the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The officer had less than eight years on the job.

The officer said that many of the officers are choosing retirement, while others are heading to different agencies.

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“I think that you have to take care of yourself first,” the officer said. “I was frustrated with the work schedule, and being put in unexpected situations. Also, I think Chicago police officers are underpaid for what they do.”

He knows 10 other officers who left for the same reasons. Forced overtime, canceled vacation time, staffing shortages, and low morale have all contributed to them leaving.

“I knew I was just going to be put in worse working situations and conditions from there on, because they were going to be short-staffed,” the former officer continued, “and the department and the people who run it, the politicians, they thought that that was an okay situation for officers to be in.”

Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said the plummeting number of police in the city has become a crisis. “People don’t want to be the police. The police don’t want to be the police,” Beale said.

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By January 1, 2022, the vacancies at CPD are expected to have 908 vacancies, according to Budget Director Susie Park, and that doesn’t include any retirements or resignations that the agency hasn’t been told about.

“People fail to realize last year we wiped out 614 vacancies out of last year’s budget, and when we talk about that we’re down 1,000 officers, we’re actually down 1,600 officers.”

Applications have also dropped drastically, from around 30,000 last year to 5,000 this year.

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